When it all Falls Apart

flower and handsWhat do you do when you feel like you've lost the thread of who you are and where your life is headed? I don't mean when you are having a bad day. I mean when an event, or series of events occur that cause you to go for weeks and months being unhappy with who you are and/or what you are doing. I've been there, though I'm not there currently. I do have a couple of friends who are there. For many of us a change in our work status can cause us to question everything else about ourselves. We constantly define ourselves, and are defined by others, as "what" we do. Rather than "who" we are. This is all very commonsensical, and it's easy to just say, "buck up chum, it's not that bad". But sometimes it can feel that bad.

For most of us, we are more than the label of what we do for work. However, that doesn't mean that it's not a huge part of our self image. What do we do when we feel like there is nothing that excites us? How do we move out of that place of despair and begin to find a new path among all the brambles and dead-fall?

Do we need to define ourselves differently? Can we cast off the importance of the professional label? Yes, that would be very helpful, but bucking the dominant paradigm when we are already feeling unworthy is pretty tough.

I'm not a big fan of trite little feel good sayings. They usually just piss me off. It pisses me off even more when they are true. "One day at a time" is one of these. It just works sometimes. If we can let go of "what about the rest of my life?!",  then sometimes we can breathe a little deeper. And that's important.

It's OK not to know what to do. It's OK not to know where to turn. It's OK to let it all go just in this moment. Break your routine. Get outside. Let yourself be sad. Let yourself be angry. Feel sorry for yourself, it's good for you. No one can mourn you like you can. Sometimes we need to spend some time letting go of all the things we thought were going to happen. Often that is heartbreaking. It doesn't get done in a day. Eventually it is the way we make room for something new.

Oh, and believe your friends when they tell you you're awesome, it's so true.