After Any New Loss… How to Find Yourself Again
After any loss, whether it was your adorable pet, someone you love, your health… or losing sight of a dream, you have to find yourself again.
Unfortunately, I had to find myself again after my husband passed away 14 years ago. We had two sons ages 11 and 17 at the time.
For a long time after that, I was lost. However, truth be told, I was lost in a different way before that.
Before that happened, I would describe myself as spiritually lost or hungry and looking for a sense of my own soul and a soulful life.
I realize now that trying to find yourself again is often a search for self-acceptance and self-love. At least it was for me.
How to find yourself again.
After any loss, you may feel that life is starting over. First, allow yourself to feel lost. Then, embark on a soul-searching journey, see yourself clearly, feel what is true for you, love yourself, and step into your destiny.
How to help someone find themselves
There are many ways to ways to find yourself again, but the first step is to admit that you’re lost.
Because we lose people we love in life, our youth, self-confidence, chapters in life, optimism, hope, and possibly our joy.
And if that’s not enough, we lose relationships, houses, health, self-esteem… how do we get through it and be true to ourselves?
Self-discovery is the beginning of personal transformation and the self-discovery process.
Becoming yourself again… is often the beginning of a personal transformation. And any transformation in life begins with awareness, with step one.
When you acknowledge, I don’t know where I am and I don’t know where I’m going… you open yourself.
If you feel safe doing so, tell trusted friends and family members. And if you don’t feel safe, give yourself permission to keep it to yourself.
Only you know what it’s like to be YOU!
Ways you may feel lost.
You may feel lost in terms of your purpose, your deepest desires, who your partner should be, how to solve a problem, what step to take next, and what you believe about yourself.
In addition, you might feel spiritually lost. Where, like myself, you visit church after church, synagogues, meetups, communing with nature, and none of that speaks to your heart.
And then, of course, is feeling lost after you lose someone you love, either because they pass away or the relationship ends.
FOUR STAGES TO FIND YOURSELF AGAIN.
After my husband passed away, getting back to myself involved moving through each of the four stages below.
FOUR STAGES TO FIND YOURSELF SUMMARY
ONE – Embark: Be willing to leave what’s comfortable and enter the unknown. Commit to being who you’re meant to be, which is your destiny.
TWO – See Yourself: Grow in self-knowledge. See yourself clearly and stick with that. Keep in your focus that you have a finite amount of time in your life to learn and grow.
THREE – Feel What is True: Learn the skills for thinking high vibration and feeling what is true for you.
FOUR – Step into Your Destiny: Grow in self-love and step into the life that’s meant for you.
Stage One: Embark
The first step is the beginning of your quest to yourself, embark on a soul-searching journey.
Your awareness is keen that there’s more within you waiting to come out. Asking for help, you are open to leaders, mentors, and guides joining you on your journey. Notice what is good, what is beautiful, what is working in your life, etc.
Stage Two: See yourself.
See yourself from a deeper, soul-centered perspective.
Decide what you need to give, share, and which people you want to help. What is your intuition of how this universe wants to use you?
Ask: What is the burning desire within me? What do I feel I must do, or my life will feel like I didn’t live fully?
KEEP IT LIGHT
However, make this a fun, soulful question, not a heavy chore. Your intuition about yourself will be stronger as you are able to quiet your mind.
So, do meditation, regular exercise, try a new hobby, or journaling, etc. There are many ways to open up to the truth within you.
Stage Three: Feel what is true.
This journey requires that you feel what is true for you in a way that feels safe and secure. If you need the help of a therapist or counselor, there are many options. The feeling of being lost is certainly uncomfortable.
FEEL IT TO HEAL IT
The main idea in this stage is to feel the emotional energy that’s inside you and release it. Over and over, bit by bit. Feel your emotions while keeping your thinking supportive and self loving.
Patience with YOU is key.
For me, it’s a lifelong process and essential for emotional freedom. As we free ourselves from the past and let go of heavy emotional energy, we are able to fulfill our potential.
Here’s a list of emotional release techniques and tools to consider.
Stage Four: Step into your destiny.
As you come into stage four you’re feeling more self-esteem, self-compassion, and self-love. And you’re able to use self-honesty without criticism. You don’t expect yourself to be perfect. You are willing to fail.
THE OTHER SIDE
Ultimately, you are here for a reason and you are ready to step into that reason. Much like a caterpillar who becomes a butterfly. It’s meant to be.
Where do you belong?
Part of feeling lost after a loss… is feeling like you don’t belong.
Because life is different than before.
Human beings need a sense of belonging. It’s wired into our guts. And we will search high and low to find where we belong.
Losing someone we love, or having an accident or health scare can cause us to question everything about our life.
5 Soulful Questions You’ll Ask to Find Where You Belong.
When you’re wondering: How do I get back to myself, you may also be asking:
Who am I?
What am I doing here?
What is the purpose of my life?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Where do I go from here?
So, let’s talk about each of these thoughtful and important questions.
Who am I?
This is the eternal question! It’s up there with: What is the meaning of life?
Who am I... has been asked by many philosophers, including Socrates, who felt the soul is who you are. So, in being a soulful person, you find the answers you’re looking for because you’re so connected to the soul, the essence of YOU.
I happen to agree with Socrates… 100%.
And a long list of great thinkers agrees as well. Marsilio Ficino from the 1400s, Carl Jung who lived until 1961, and James Hillman who passed in 201, to name a few.
I like to define the soul as the seed of potential within you.
It’s who you are before you’ve been hurt by life. It holds what you’re capable of doing in this life.
What am I doing here?
You are here for a reason and your life was created to fulfill that reason.
Your life is not an accident. You have not randomly landed here. Instead, you are part of a world that may appear haphazard but is supportive and intelligent.
Let’s challenge that idea for a moment. This next month, simply notice how often each day something happens that’s strange or unusual.
Often these things are not coincidences, but they’re part of the support that’s happening behind the scenes of your life, helping you along your path.
It just might be a slightly longer and bumpier path than you wanted!
And if you don’t see these things at first, you will eventually. Just open your imagination to what might be going on.
Some examples are when the right book or post pops up just when you needed to hear it. And, when someone shows up in your life at just the right time.
Or, when an opportunity arises when you were about to give up.
Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
So, try looking at the universe with the belief, I am guided, and see what happens.
What is the purpose of my life?
Since we are here to learn and grow, we have more than one purpose in life.
What are you here to learn? Finding the answer is one purpose.
What you have to give, share, or express is another purpose.
And you may have a number of things to accomplish, not just one.
On the flip side, you may have just one very specific purpose…. like raising the next president of the United States or inventing the next cure for a deadly disease.
Or, starting a ripple effect that changes how large populations of people change their thinking.
You or your child might set an effect in motion that you can’t even imagine now.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
When my husband passed away the first book I got was: When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner.
This phenomenal book explores the question we all have bouncing around in our heads: Why don’t the bad guys die and the good guys stay here?
It’s heartbreaking to lose people who were making the world better just by being here.
Those special souls whose very presence lifted those around them.
ANSWERING THE IMPOSSIBLE
Rabbi Kushner’s best-selling book suggests that we may not understand what happens, but there is a God and the worst adversity can be turned into something meaningful.
This answer may comfort you or not. Personally, if you believe there is no answer, I understand that very, very well.
The book is dedicated to the memory of his young son, Aaron, who died at the age of 14 in 1977 of an incurable disease.
Where do I go from here?
You go on a quest to find yourself. And it’s a lifelong quest. It’s an honorable quest.
Just one baby step at a time through these four stages above.
And remember, as uncomfortable as it is, you’re never ever alone on your quest to find yourself.
The universe steps in when you feel lost.
Six months after my husband passed, a book came to me in the middle of the night about a caterpillar who doesn’t believe she can be a butterfly. She doesn’t believe in herself.
She doesn’t really know herself and doubts herself.
I know my spirit guides gave me this book. I’m certain. So, when your spirit guides give you a story to tell, you have to commit and tell the story!
In the book, my caterpillar feels lost in life, long before she experiences a loss of love.
Like myself, she feels deep down that there’s more within her that needs to surface in life, but doesn’t know what it is or how to find it.
Sometimes in life, we have to crawl.
Crawling is defined as the challenging times in life.
You’re stepping slowly on the ground, small baby steps at a time.
When we’re feeling lost, often, we’re crawling through the day, through conversations, and basically faking it a lot of the time.
At the end of the day, we wonder how we made it through. How did I wake up, show up and muddle through the day long enough to get me back home and into bed?
How did I do that?
Most of the time, we don’t know how we did it.
Looking back, I don’t know how I did it, except that I crawled one day at a time.
Why I wrote about a caterpillar.
I mentioned above, waking up in the middle of the night with a book in my head about a caterpillar who doesn’t believe she can be a butterfly.
This was me.
I’d never written a book.
Actually, I never even wanted to write a book before.
But, as I’ve heard others say, the book asked to be written.
The story takes place from the point of view of the caterpillar because I was crawling through my grief and self-doubt.
And I was completely lost.
Yet, I knew there was more within me.
Plus, my husband validated this when he visited me in a dream and told me that I had more to do and be in my life.
I had to grow my own wings.
When you experience something so odd, so big, and so hard to believe… it wakes you up a bit. It wakes you up a lot!
Because we become so used to only believing what we can see in life.
So, when we’re given the gift of peering behind the veil of life, to the other side, it’s transformational.
Or it can be.
The veil is the very thin line or almost non-existent partition between life and death.
And when this happens, we get the opportunity to experience with our own feeble senses, that yes, there’s more beyond this life.
There’s more we can’t see or touch.
But, it’s there.
Poems of Self-Compassion.
I’ll never forget listening to David Whyte’s Poems of Self-Compassion for the first time.
In this incredible audio, he tells a story of when the hero within himself had to sit down, while the part of him that limped carried him across a broken bridge.
I understood that 100%. At home, I was writing about my crawling caterpillar while David Whyte took me through his poem about the limping times in life.
Tired of being strong.
I related with my heart and soul because I didn’t want to be strong anymore. I was tired of carrying such a heavy load.
This time of being tired from life, or burn out, or whatever you’re feeling, forces you to rest.
Rest is very important when you’re finding yourself. Because you may not realize it, but your mind is going 24/7 about your life, your problems, stress, are you being the best version of yourself, and on and one.
All of that brain activity is exhausting to the body.
So rest is good.
Then, find a puddle to soak in.
Your puddle is defined as the place within you that goes deeper.
It’s an important place because it’s profound to know your own inner workings.
It’s honoring yourself when you allow your unique experience without self-rejection.
The simple act of being with whatever emotion arises is needed to find your true self.
Because we feel it to heal it. This saying, well known in the world of emotional healing will remind you that you must feel to heal.
As the saying goes, “The only way past is through.”
Here’s a two-minute audio I recorded with affirmations on How to forgive yourself for past mistakes.
And here are 307 affirmations for self-love.
Self-forgiveness is an essential part of the healing of your life. Especially after losing someone you love, survivor’s guilt may come into play and only add to your heartache.
Ranier Maria Rilke and Grief.
In Ranier Maria Rilke‘s poem, Pushing Through, he writes…
It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.
I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.
PUSHING THROUGH SOLID ROCK
When you’re lost or grief-ridden, as this poem is about, it feels like you’re pushing through solid rock.
Rilke’s phenomenal image here is that… it’s massive darkness and you feel so small.
He’s saying, your great transforming will happen to me, and my great grief cry will happen to you.
I remember reciting this poem to myself on my walks each day… over and over again. I could see the solid rock in front of me and I related with grief feeling so heavy that I couldn’t push through it.
IT FEELS IMPOSSIBLE.
I suspect that grief and feeling lost in life go hand in hand for many people. Whether it’s current grief or old unfinished grief. It’s something to consider.
When you’re lost in life, what emotions are bouncing around in there that want to be felt?
Other reasons you feel lost in life.
It’s possible to lose yourself in other ways as well. You might feel as though you’ve drifted, focusing on helplessness or victim consciousness.
In The Power of TED (The Empowerment Dynamic), David Emerald writes about the victim triangle versus the creator triangle.
In the first point, you feel as though things happen to you and you often feel powerless.
And negative self-talk can consume your life.
While in the creator triangle you see yourself as a creator in your life, which is quite empowering. You believe in your ability to create the results you desire and you find a way to do it.
You’re willing to try new things, pursue your dreams, and explore the unknown.
When you feel lost or like a victim, excitement is limited and fun challenges don’t seem to come down the road. Routines feel boring and they’re not as enjoyable.
Losing the connection to self.
It’s possible that we lose the connection with ourselves when we have other notions about what we’re supposed to do in life. Our feelings are wrapped up in feeling like we’re not enough.
However, as you connect within, to your soul, your genius, your gifts, you become centered in what you have to give.
Beware of who you spend time with because negativity can be attributed either to a friend, family, society, or even just you alone.
Plus, when we do things we don’t want, out of obligation, we can end up feeling even worse.
Negative thoughts lead to feeling lost.
Every single emotion, believe it or not, begins with a thought. Whether you’re aware of it or not.
To learn how to find yourself again, it’s important to pay attention to your thinking.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
Am I criticizing myself?
Am I giving myself enough time and space to be with my emotions?
Do I believe I deserve an abundance of love and success?
There’s no doubt that negative thinking is a habit and like any habit, can be changed. In my book The Thought Store: 8 Simple Thinking Habits, I help people change low-vibe thinking.
Make sure your thinking is supportive!
Negative thoughts can make you feel like you are the worst person in the world. When you are feeling lost and you want to know how to find yourself again, your thinking needs to be self-loving.
Instead, when you feel lost, focus your thoughts on being good to your true self. What does this look like?
When your mood or energy drops and you feel out of your comfort zone ask yourself:
What am I feeling right now?
What do I need in this moment?
Notice how instead of criticizing yourself, you focus on what you need. This is necessary because when you feel lost and you’re out of your comfort zone, you need love.
We find our way with self esteem, self-compassion, and self-love.
Finding your true self.
How to find yourself again is a journey to the self. We each have a calling in this life and it’s up to us to answer the call.
As a soul coach, I love how we’re each individuals with our own calling… and the idea that you are here for a reason that’s all yours.
There’s no silver bullet to find your way to yourself, it’s a process.
As I write in The Butterfly Silhouette, it’s a quest.