Maybe it’s in our DNA or perhaps it comes as a result of our environment. Whatever it is, from the time we get our first doll or make our first mudpie, we’ve entered into the role of caregiver. Taking care of those around us becomes what we do, who we are.
It’s a way of life – our life.
We rarely question it and continue doing what we’ve always done because it is part of the fabric that keeps everything together. Until it’s not. Until something shakes us so deeply, so profoundly, we’re jolted awake and upright, finally asking the question, “Who the fuck am I?”
We’ve been moving through life using labels to define us. Labels like mom, wife, daughter. Caregiver. We may also define ourselves by where we live, what we own, how often we travel and how much money we have in the bank. When any one of these things changes, it’s cause for reflection. When many of these change, especially when change happens within a short period, we’re left with our heads spinning wondering what the hell happened. And how did it happen to us?
The warning signs were there. They are always there.
We gave up our dreams.
We told ourselves it was okay. We convinced ourselves we would pursue our dreams once the kids went to school; once our partner made a certain amount of money or achieved a specific milestone in their career, then it would be our turn. We could wait. We had time.
We lived according to someone else’s script.
We believed what we were doing was “our role,” even though we don’t remember saying those words ourselves. We listened to the voices in our head telling us how nice girls and good women were supposed to behave. We continued to do it all, with a smile on our face and a hole in our heart, believing we must be crazy to consider anything else.
We didn’t listen to our intuition.
We sized up their mood and carefully chose every word, so as not to upset them. When they suggested we were over reacting, we decided they must be right. We felt inadequate and guilty for our doubts. We’d had the nagging feeling something was wrong for a long time, and we brushed it aside. We made a choice to listen to everyone and everything, except our most trustworthy guide – our gut.
It’s easy to lose our identity when we find it outside of ourselves, through the roles other people see us in, place us in. Whether we’re giving up our dreams for someone else’s or ignoring our intuition, we’re missing out on one of the most beautiful gifts of our life. The gift of knowing ourselves, loving ourselves, from the inside out.
Are you ready to reclaim your dreams and take back your life?