It’s 4 AM and I am laying awake, feeling unsettled and thinking about how distant and disconnected I feel from my personal life. Not from my beloved, sleeping sweetly at my side, but from myself.
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy focused on everybody else this past month. Caught up in everyone else’s life. Their world. Their family. And there was a sadness stirring in me. I began realizing that I had, once again, wandered, even lost myself. With that awareness, I took a very deep breath. And allowed myself to feel as lost and upset as I was.
My emotional radar had picked up a strong signal from within. I was not happy and needed to make an adjustment. Something had to change.
How could I get grounded back into my own life? Back on my own path? Take back my life?
My first impulse was to lay blame. I would dramatically reclaim my life from the people and things that had caused me to stray. Pulling back and distancing myself from my job, girlfriend, friends, social life, job would fix the problem. Right?
And then I took a deep breath. What had happened to me, I realized, was my doing. There was nobody to blame. It was up to me. Taking responsibility and ownership for the problem was the beginning. Next, I began making a list of exactly what I needed to do to settle back into my own skin, rhythms and needs. And then, it was time to take action and do whatever I had to in order to restore myself to my own path?
My list of things I needed to do to reconnect with myself and my life was empowering. I started each sentence with the statement, “To be more settled in my OWN life, I need to…” The answers flowed into my awareness.
1. Start doing yoga every day.
2. Prioritize your “to do” list.
3. Decide how I want to spend the next several months, even years, of my life.
4. Get together with the following people who I miss.
5. Unclutter my home office.
6. Reconnect with the following business clients and associates.
7. Plan a vacation to an exotic, restful place. And so on.
The things we need flow into our awareness when we open ourselves to them. Coming awake is one of life’s great miracles. Recognizing our innermost needs and desires quietly leads us back to ourselves. Awareness begins to put us back on the path of our own lives. Gives us a renewed sense of purpose. Integrity. And the courage to move forward – all without blame, distancing or drama.
Losing and finding ourselves is one of the rhythms of life. We wander. And we return home. Each journey is different. Each presents its own challenges. Sometimes we awaken to the realization that we have surrendered a disproportionate amount of our identity to our partner. Our fears. Or our life’s work. And that we need to reclaim this real estate.
The trick is to move with gentleness and humility between our lost and found. To calm ourselves before we launch into blaming someone else. And come slowly awake.
Staying proactively awake and maintaining balance in our lives so we do not wander from ourselves is probably the best approach. That way, we keep the adjustments stay small and simple. But in all probability, you and I will occasionally receive a wake up call at 4 AM telling us it’s time to return home to ourselves.
Copyright Ken Druck, Ph.D., author of The Real Rules of Life (Hay House, paperback May 2013).