I think there is something disturbing about choosing a ‘just in case’ funeral song for your newborn baby, only to use it three years later for your husband. Yet, by 27, this was, unfortunately, the very heartbreaking truth I was living through.
Within three years, I had faced the real prospect of losing my son, before facing the horrible reality of losing my husband. He was killed in a fatal car accident two days after our son’s 3rd birthday. Adversity doesn’t creep up on you, it doesn’t ease its way into your life. It smashes its way into your heart and leaves you scrambling for air.
One cannot understate the roller-coaster of emotions that grief and trauma can take you on. Amid the searing heartache and confusion, an incessant light is shone on every inadequacy or insecurity you have ever hidden away. You are left feeling like not one aspect of yourself does not resemble who you were.
The compounding emotional fatigue strips you of any real identity as the ‘old you’ is engulfed in experiences that can never be undone. You can never truly un-feel the thoughts and fears that first gripped you. It is the most painful realisation that the ‘OLD YOU’ is never coming back. She is gone. Her innocence, dreams, and carefree existence were all snatched away within seconds.
And yet I was unable to see initially that the re-creation process would be a more powerful experience than I could have ever imagined. That is the process of feeling like I had completely lost myself; I was being gifted an opportunity to find more than I ever thought I had.
I have been guided to use my pain, my lessons, and my wisdom in a way that supports other people during their identity crises. My expertise as a guiding Transformational Courage Coach has been birthed directly from my time soul-searching my own life.
I am acutely aware that trauma is not the prerequisite for losing ‘oneself’. As I see it, the issue is that our hectic, outcomes-driven world does not allow for the time or space to become fully acquainted with who we are. Life doesn’t have to completely shatter in front of us for us to feel lost.
Many people are truly not accustomed to making themselves a priority. Combine that with niggling fears of what they may find should they commit to looking deep enough, and it’s a recipe for bypassing some of their most important work.
Pressure, stress and overwhelm are only shining a light on what is ALREADY being held within. These things are, in truth, the amplifier of pre-existing conditions, belief systems or fears of inadequacy that have not yet been addressed.
Losing ourselves is the greatest opportunity to find ourselves. It’s just a case of whether we have the courage to REALLY look.