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  • Clara Mei

"Finding yourself"...Which "self" gets to board the train first???

Last week I was having a bit of an "identity crisis" as I was feeling challenged to make a decision. The thing is the decision affects my husband and my kids, and even my extended family-not just me. I'm sure MANY of you understand this scenario--you know, when you've been trained- again consciously or not- to 1)not think of your own needs/aspirations first; 2)when you do think of them first--you don't actually wind up prioritizing them because you fall into the pattern of putting on your "mom hat" or "wife hat" or even "daughter hat"- and then you change your mind... How about for you, what other "title" comes to your mind- what other "hat" do you wear?

So how on earth are we supposed make decisions that we can "feel good" about when we have ALL these things we are juggling?? I had thought to share this conflict here as blogpost but wasn't sure which image/pic I would post. And then I came across this post on FB--yes sometimes those clever quotes can pop up just when you need them! --and I paused to think about how this quote really reflected and captured much of the internal dialogue I was having.

So as I had gone through this journey last week- this quote definitely captured the essence of what I had also come to realize. Although I am super thankful that I don't really have the challenge of counteracting the "inacurate conclusions [I] drew as a kid", my current identities I realized have definitely impacted me. With 15 years of married life, 14 years being a military spouse and almost 12 years of being a mom- my purview of how I have been making decisions has definitely been shaped by these titles and roles--these identities that I have OUTSIDE of my SELF...

So it's not that these other roles should not be included in my decision making, it's just that I've realized that I need more balance--yes a balance within the imbalance is possible--so that SELF can be more actualized- more present in my day-to-day life...

Next thing, however, is that for so many years my brain has been programmed to (unconsciously) think it MUST think of these other roles first. So now that I'm trying to rework what my brain puts first, it quite honestly doesn't feel so comfortable...Here's the thing though, I've decided that the discomfort I feel re-wiring my brain (and asking more, see my previous post) is worth the GREATER discomfort I feel when I don't put my needs, my interests, my growth first...And the other thing I know from experience, and in my training, is that the initial discomfort of change, does lessen as you sort of strengthen the "new muscle"...

And truly my fellow ladyfolk--again it's not that the other important roles just fall by waist-side--it's just that when we have SO many identities it gets overwhelming. SO one strategy is put "first things first", and then the rest will also fall into place. So by putting SELF first--from an authentic, grounded, growing place--we can then line up the other priorities in our life. Without this, imagine: rush hour trying to get on a train... All of your identities are literally trying to get into the train at the same time, and instead of actually getting in the train and going where you need to go--all your identities literally mash into eachother getting stuck and then just holding up the train! And that IS frustrating! So although a bit more effort- or rather a "different" effort is needed at least initially--at least ALL your identities can actually board the train and then you can MOVE FORWARD! E-mail me! I'd love to know which identities of yours are trying to get on the train!

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