The reflection I have done recently has helped me understand things that many adults may take for granted. Being a truly independent human being is not an inherent skill. We come into this world and leave it very dependent upon other humans for all our needs to be met. Regardless, I believe it an important skill to learn. Many species give birth to their young and leave them to fend for themselves – that is not the human experience. As a parent you hope that you raise your children well enough so that they too will learn this skill as they mature into adults.
As a child I had to be independent to emotionally survive. This necessity created an insatiable need to be emotionally dependent, and cared for. Unfortunately, this insatiable need left me vulnerable to the sexual abuse I suffered as a teen. It has taken this new awakening to realize that I must return to those necessary survival and self taught skills of independence in order to truly become the person I was meant to be.
This is a very difficult emotional journey. Questions that may be simple for others are less so for me. Continuously allowing myself to become lost in someone else, in a relationship – created an individual who was not an individual, and caused damage to my soul that I am now repairing.
Losing yourself in another makes it easy to no longer care for, or take care of you. I am certain many people can tie their personal weight loss journey to such a feeling of emotional dependence. Once you begin to find yourself again, be the independent person you were meant to be, both the emotional and physical weight will slowly disappear.
It is very hard for me to be alone, or simply by myself. But these past few months have taught me not only how to cope with the difficult moments, but to embrace many of them as productive opportunities for growth. Sure, I still have many difficult times, but when the emotions (loneliness, sadness, fear, anxiety) rear their ugly heads, I am able to work through them more easily with each instance.
Eating a meal out by yourself, seeing a show on your own, just sitting still with your thoughts and no outside influences, are all skills for me to learn or more accurately re-learn. New circumstances present themselves daily, and as they do I am learning to find myself, my strength and joy, individually from others.
Although it has been difficult, I return once again to gratitude. I am so very thankful for the opportunity to grow as an independent individual, an independent woman. This opportunity has allowed me to reflect and really look at simple, basic questions like: Who am I? Why was I created? What is my purpose? What can I give back? What are my passions, talents and skills? How can I use these to be the best person I can be, help others along my journey, and both attract and reflect positive things?
This is kin to a rebirth of sorts. Trying to remember how I found the strength as a child to be independent and answer similar albeit less sophisticated questions as I grew, has not been simple. Certainly the coping mechanisms I turned to as a child are very different from those I have learned as an adult. Not only are they different, but they have matured, and become healthier, more efficient and more mindful.
So here I sit, ALONE – writing, reflecting, enjoying the sunrise, the birds singing, the breeze blowing (a very productive use of alone time in my opinion – LOL). I can be happy and not need to share the joy. I can be sad, and not need a shoulder to cry on. I must admit, for myself the most difficult one is anxiety. I am working on being able to say: I can be anxious and not need someone to help calm me down. Certainly it is easier to have someone there during difficult moments, and even preferable at times. But wanting someone there and needing them there are two very different things.
I am learning. I am growing. I am so thankful for this opportunity – this fresh start, this new beginning – this rediscovery of me.