There is an element of connecting to one’s self that is a tell-tell sign if we have arrived. As a mother it is so easy to loose yourself, in your kids, in your home, in your husband or in your work. Taking care of other people becomes so closely intertwined with your identity that you can barely separate the two, or maybe you can’t. Maybe its what you always wanted and there is so much joy given there that you wouldn’t want to separate them, the idea of having to be more than that is terrifying. Or.. maybe.. like me.. you never saw yourself as a mom. It wasn’t really on your radar, then BAM! I was swept up into motherhood and even hearing that it wasn’t all I was meant to be, I couldn’t see that I had completely given myself over to it. It was easier than admitting there was more in me, or that there could be more. Its a hard line to walk. Motherhood is the highest honor, if you recognize it as so. What could possibly compete. What could possibly be prioritized beside or above motherhood? “I shouldn’t even try to find my passion, motherhood should be my passion” Guilt soon follows, if motherhood hasn’t been 100% fulfilling for you.
Seven years into motherhood I sat with myself, a hollow shell. This was the outcome for me, of trying to make motherhood all I needed. It wasn’t and I needed to see that it was ok to do more, to add to the role. Stephen looked at me and just saw sadness. I tried so hard to make motherhood all I needed and in the midst of it I had completely lost sight, not only of myself but of God. If I did venture, mentally to the space where I admitted there was a hole, I tried to fill it with what made sense to me. Make money, be an Interior Designer. I thought I was thinking outside of the box but that was the box. I never thought about doing something that didn’t make money and I never thought of doing anything that didn’t include I.D. I didn’t think about connecting to my soul and listening to it. But that is exactly what I needed to do.
As a Christian we are made aware of promptings. The Holy Spirit stepping in to our conscience to press on our hearts an action. Something we should do that could greatly impact someone else. There is another kind of prompting we desire. I like to call them urges. Urges are strong impulses or desires. They can be positive or negative. They can be buried in the flesh or embedded within our souls, our most authentic selves. The latter are the ones I want to talk about. The urges, wishes, needs, longings, yearnings, cravings deep within our souls. The largest most prominent would be our need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, our need to believe in God. Then they diminish in size all the way down to the need to use a pencil instead of a pen. Those tiny little urges are so important though. Let me explain.
Those urges, the tiny ones, the ones embedded in our truest most authentic selves are our connection to ourselves. When we loose our identity in other things, when we wake up and don’t know who we are, I bet its because we stopped listening to our urges somewhere along the way. For me I let fear in. Unimaginable fear. Fear of everything; embarrassment, being a fraud, not knowing my place, disappointment, etc. This fear was a lie that I let into my head, thinking it was reality. This fear kept my mind so occupied that I didn’t have any room or energy left for anything else. I forgot about the urges and soon couldn’t hear or recognize them at all. I couldn’t think for myself, this was an extreme loss of urges. You can go a long time not even noticing that you stopped asking yourself what you wanted, what you wished for, dreamed of, longed for, or simply something that would bring a smile to your face or satisfaction to your soul.
When you see sand, you want to walk through it or sift it through your fingers. When you see an old book you want to smell it. When you see silk you want to run your hands over it or bring it to your cheek. We have a tendency to use these urges to clean or fix but I want you to think of them as completely pointless other than the fact that they bring you a small sense of joy. When was the last time you chose to do something for the love of it rather than the fear of something else. Making a decision to avoid something is fueling fear not generating joy. Sharpen a pencil, dig in dirt with a stick, walk on grass barefoot, let the sun shine warm your face with your eyes closed. Missing these moments are the first signs of missing yourself yet on the flip side noticing these moments are the beginning of a deeper relationship with yourself.
After the urges, comes passions and dreams and drive and hustle and determination to stay true to yourself and never loose sight again. These urges are the tiniest first step to the marathon of life and they are at the gateway of the right path for you. They are your signal that you are on YOUR path not someone else’s. You might think I’m crazy and that they are not that important but I believe they are, so tragically important. Denying them is denying you. Staying blind to the fact that we are loosing ourselves to make others happy, there will be a day when nothing is left. That life is good for no one. Not one we would advise to a friend, a spouse or a child… so why would we be okay with it for ourselves.
The scariest, hardest thing might be to take a couple minutes, breath and ask yourself what YOU want to do, what YOU want to wear, what YOU want to eat, what YOU want to sing, what YOU want to believe about yourself. Once you are able to tap in to this connection, you will feel a knowing, a true understanding of who you are and where you are going. This is a rare and necessary knowing.