Do you feel a bit lost sometimes? Like you are looking for something but you have no idea what? Sometimes you will mistaken it for loneliness, or even anxiety or depression. And it can often bring on a deep sadness in you. But what is it really?
A Lost Soul
I feel like I was so confused for so long. A lost and wandering soul. I looked for filling that lost feeling in so many areas of my life and so many ways. I dated men who weren’t good for me (or to me) in an attempt to avoid the lonely feelings. I took jobs that made me miserable, and really that I had no interest in doing – I had no passion for the work. I would spend money to make myself feel better when I got down – sometimes a lot of money. I would take out a credit card and go on a major shopping spree. I had a belief in God, but didn’t think for a minute that God even knew who I was. And I thought partying was going to bring me some joy. I was looking for happiness, and had no idea where to find it. I was trying to fill some hole in myself, but I had no idea what it was or how to do that.
Searching for Self-Love
I had no idea that what I was searching for was peace within myself, and that comes from self-love. When we shop, drink, date the wrong people, mess up our finances, struggle with our beliefs…. it’s all about self-love. That IS the underlying issue. Yes, there are other issues around it. Childhood beliefs, how you were raised – or treated, and how things have gone in your life in general. So much affects us along the way. But the truth is, at the bottom of all of it, we are searching for and needing self-love. It is the deep longing that we have that we try to ‘fill’ with other things, relationships, vices, addictions, etc. It is why we struggle, why we don’t believe that we can do better, or find happiness. And it is always why we accept so much less than we deserve.
What we do in our lives is we recognize the surface feelings. I would feel crazy lonely, and think that it was because I needed to find a man to be with. So, I would go on a mad quest to find a guy – accepting men who didn’t treat me well because I was afraid to be alone. The irony is that if I could have just found peace in being alone and loving myself, I would have attracted the relationship that I really wanted. But I didn’t realize that at the time. I didn’t dig deeper to figure out why I felt so lonely.
It’s true in every area of our lives too. We feel those surface feelings and we don’t recognize the deeper issue. We have a job we don’t like and we feel trapped. We don’t think there’s a better job out there or that we could even get a better job. We blame our life, our employer, our parents – whatever. What we don’t see though is that if we had deeper self-love, we would clearly see that we DO deserve better and we CAN find a better job. I can’t tell you how many years I spent miserable in jobs because I didn’t have the self-love and self-worth to see that I could find what I wanted easily and quickly if I just allowed myself to want it, to search for it, to feel worthy of it, and know that I could have that.
With my spirituality, I used to get so low and down on myself and my life that I would go sit in the back of a church and listen to the songs about God…and cry. I seriously didn’t believe I was loveable or worthy of God’s love. I felt like some forgotten soul. My faith was there, but barely. Those rare trips to sit in the back of a church and cry were really a last desperate cry to God when I felt incredibly low. To get God’s attention and ask for help. If I’d only realized that God was right there with me all the time, and that I just needed to find that love for myself (within myself) to start to re-establish my faith and my relationship with the Divine.
Filling the Hole
I also remember so many times over the years of feeling that I was trying to fill some hole in my life. Mostly loneliness and worthiness. But you will soon learn that you will feel lonely whether you are with people or not, and feeling unworthy won’t be resolved by spending beyond your means, or any of our other vices. All of it must be resolved from within.
So how do you find your way through all this and start to grow your own self-love? For me, it took recognizing that trying to find what I needed outside of myself wasn’t working. It took realizing that I did deserve better than what I was accepting into my life. I took time to myself to ‘go within’, carving out more time for myself, alone. I read books, went for runs and bike rides by myself, I spent time journaling, and I let all the feelings come up and explored them. That’s not easy sometimes either. To dig deep.
Sometimes I went to healers too, or psychics. They would also unearth lots of stuff I needed to deal with. Lots of old beliefs and feelings I needed to heal. I have had some very intense readings and healings over the years. If you want to find such people in your area, it’s often best to reach out to others for recommendations. People that you trust. There are definitely some ‘bad eggs’ out there in the healing community, so follow your gut as well.
There’s No Finish Line
I’ll bet you are wondering, so is my life perfect now? Nope. It is not. I have a long way to go to be where I want to be. But I’ve also come a very long way. I think we all need to recognize and be grateful for that in our own lives. How far we’ve come. The steps we have taken towards healing, towards taking better care of ourselves, and towards loving ourselves the way we deserve to be loved. The more we do that, the more the rest will fall into place. This is not a race and there is no finish line. Any step forward is progress.
What I want you to do is just to recognize what you are doing (or feeling) in your life right now. Notice the underlying feelings – not just the surface ones. Why you feel the way you do. For example, if you dread going to your job, I don’t want you to look at the surface issues – things about your job that bug you, or your rationalizations that it pays well, there aren’t other options, whatever. I want you to look at WHY you subject yourself to a job you don’t like? It’s time to figure out why. Get out a notebook and start to write about it. Feel it. Go back to childhood in your mind perhaps and think about your parents’ jobs – how they felt about their work – what values or beliefs that instilled in you. Wherever it all comes from, find it. Don’t blame, just figure it out. You can’t change things until you understand where it’s coming from.
When you see it clearly, you will grow. You WILL be able to release it, but you must understand it first. It will move you forward and change you in a positive way. Understanding yourself, your history, and why you are who you are now will help you to grow into the person you are to become. The one who loves them self. You will only feel completely loved when you love and accept yourself. These are the first steps.
This is not an overnight thing, but let me tell you that as I’ve worked on this, my life has taken big strides. I am a different person now than I was 20 years ago – 10 years ago – even a year ago. I am a healthier, happier, more relaxed person. But also one that is so excited about the future in a way I never was before. I continue to take strides forward, and as I do, the circumstances of my life change in positive ways. I am open to better things. It’s amazing how good life can be when you begin to develop a depth of love and respect for yourself. When you won’t accept less.
A book you might like is Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant
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