I’m not really sure what the process is for deciding which souls enter each body and live each life.
Does God himself decide?
Is it completely random – left to the universe to choose?
Are we given a catalog of lives to browse through before our birth day and we get to choose which one sounds like a good match for us?
Sometimes I wonder if some kind of mistake was made and I got sent to the wrong body. My entire life I have looked around at the setting that my life takes place in and the cast of characters that makes up my family and I mentally shake my head and think “Nope. This just can’t be right.”
Despite the fact that I love my role as a mom ( I adore my kids), and that I get great satisfaction from blogging about anxiety, I have alway felt a little homesick for something, or someplace – but I have no idea what or where it is. It’s a feeling that I carry with me every day. However, since I don’t believe the universe or God makes mistakes, I have decided I must be here, in this life, for a reason.
It makes me smile to think that we do get to choose which life we get and that I looked at the life of AnnaLisa Scott and saw the personality traits she was going to have and the life that lie ahead of her and I said “That is the life I want. It is so full of challenges, losses and pain but I know I can navigate my way through her world and help her make sense of it all. I know I can give this Lisa person a happy ending. Let’s do it.”
And in a lot of ways I am doing it.
I am a survivor.
Each chapter of my life has had its own issues. My childhood had the lack of affection or attention of my parents and family. My teen years had my parents divorce and my own problems with a mentally abusive boyfriend. My 20’s and 30’s were the very worst of my anxiety years and my 30’s were when I struggled with infertility and some very painful pregnancy losses, as well as my stepson almost dying in a car accident and the loss of both of my parents. I have gotten through all of it and I think I am a stronger person for it. But still….something has just felt “off” over the years
Especially as I headed into my 40’s a few years back, I realized that my life needed some filler… some flavor. I wanted to write some less dramatic chapters in the story of my life that showed different sides of me and introduced new characters in my life.
But where to begin? Just thinking about it felt very overwhelming.
I kind of floated for a while..in that zone of being aware of how unaware I was about myself and my future.
What else can you really do at that point but float and wait for some kind of inspiration or epiphany to guide you on the right path.
And then one day I thought to myself, “Its clear I will never live the life I think I was “supposed” to have as a writer in a Paris with a family who adores me, so lets work with the life I DO have. I may not know exactly who I am, but outside of being a mom, and a strong confident person, both of which I already am – who do I WANT to be? Let’s start with that.”
The first thing that popped into my mind is that I want to be “together” and I want to look “together” at all times.
Does that sound shallow? I have never been sure. But I know that I had worked so hard to become a strong, independent person and I was tired of walking around like the hot mess mom with peanut butter and jelly smears on my yoga pants. I was always unorganized: messy desk..always missing a shoe…always late. Now that I didn’t have to spend every waking minute taking care of my kids, I wanted to look like a grown up, “together” woman.
I also wanted to have actual friends, not just a lot of “acquaintances”.
I wanted to let my wall of protection down and lower my expectations of people just enough to not boot somebody out of my life the second they didn’t live up to my high standards of what a person ought to be. I wanted to make friends, have buddies… partners in crime to get out there and enjoy the second half of my life with.
Speaking of enjoying life, I actually wanted to leave the house from time to time and go do things.
Being a stay at home mom and blogger pretty much means you leave the house to go the grocery store, doctor’s appointments or to go buy the kids something they need for school or their friend’s birthday party. That’s it. I wanted to leave the house and socialize and do fun things..maybe even just go to the park. It didn’t really matter what it was. I just knew I wanted to get out into the world more. Life was passing me by!
I also wanted to find some way to help me feel empowered.
I have become very confident over the years but that wasn’t enough for me. I had spent a lot of my life being victimized and feeling hurt by other people, mentally and sometimes physically and even at 45, I feel little pings of vulnerability creep up to the surface from time to time. I am so done with those feelings. I have paid them their due and I was ready to move on. I wanted to feel tough and strong. I wanted to feel powerful.
So now I knew who I wanted to be and the kind of life I wanted.
Now I had my map.
I decided to live my life with that map as my guide and try not make any choices big or small that I didn’t feel that the person I wanted to be wouldn’t make.
I decided to go out and try to find clothes that I could imagine somebody like the “real me” would wear.
I remember one day I was out shopping with my daughter and I was at a store and I tried on a really nice outfit. It was a pair of pants and a button down shirt with a blazer. It was completely different from anything I had worn before. As I was standing in the dressing room trying it on, I started feeling different immediately. The clothes just felt right on me. They felt good. I looked in the mirror, and I looked great in it and I felt AMAZING. I felt confident, strong. I felt like a grown up. I was in my 40’s but that was the first time I ever felt like a woman.
My daughter said “Oh mom that looks so good on you.” and I had to agree.
“But where would I wear it?” I said to her. “I don’t ever go anywhere. I have no reason to wear an outfit like this.”
I felt like a big faker, as if I didn’t “belong” in clothes like that. I didn’t like that feeling at all and it was really putting a damper on my feelings of confidence and power.
“But you love it so much, and look how nice you look.”, she said. “Who cares where you wear it? Wear it around the house. You are writing your life story mom. How do you want to be dressed in it?”
(She used my favorite analogy to hit a point home. Yes. She is that good.)
“Ok.” I said. “I will get it“.
I bought that outfit and a few other things and as crazy as it sounds, that day was a real turning point in my life.
Once I had those clothes and wore them nearly every day, they made me feel so good that I went back every few weeks or so and picked up another shirt or another blazer or another pair of pants. Over time, as I could afford to, I completely changed my wardrobe and filled it with only grown up clothes that flattered my particular body shape. They aren’t the fanciest clothes around, but they are nice….classy. I felt like a real life episode of “What Not to Wear”. Stacy and Clinton would have been proud of me.
Transforming my outside, transformed my inside because as I spent time dressing like that woman I wanted to be, I started feeling like that woman I wanted to be. To this day, I continue to dress in my more sophisticated style and I feel confident and good about myself all day long. I have such respect for myself now. That is a new feeling. I have high expectations of myself when I go out in public. I want to put my best foot forward at all times.
I said to my kids’ father the other day that I would never let myself go out the way I dressed before. Not that there was anything wrong with it or with anybody who chooses to go out and spend all day in their yoga pants. It’s whatever makes each person feel good. But as for me…I am not that person anymore. I had changed.
Another huge plus of changing my style and looking “nice” all of the time is that I now wanted to go and do things in my new clothes.
I did my usual routine of wake up, work out, get dressed – and now I actually felt like leaving the house after all that. It’s funny how that works, you know? When you look your best, and feel confident, you actually want to be around other people and do new things.
Getting myself out of the house has been amazing. I take my kids around and we go to the park, we go to the book store, we go visit people. We don’t just sit home and watch Netflix all day anymore.
Okay some days we do….
but when we do, I look nice doing it. I don’t look like the babysitter anymore. I look like somebody’s “mother”. In a good way! I like that feeling, and I think my kids like it too. They seem a bit confused as to why I don’t look like a slob all day long anymore, but overall I think they are happy with it.
Once I got the “outside” of myself figured out, I decided to turn my focus inward again.
I have self-love on lock. I believe in myself and I have a lot of confidence in myself. But I was still missing that feeling of power. My entire life had been spent feeling small, afraid, nervous, trying to please everybody around me. How does a 45-year-old mom of 5 find a way to go from that to feeling powerful?
By signing up for Tae Kwon Do.
Yes, for one hour a night, two nights a week, my five kids and I take a Tae Kwon Do class and it is probably one of the greatest decisions I have ever made.
Yes, I had to sign them up too. I don’t want to hog all the empowerment for myself. But I am not allowed to talk to them for the entire class. And f they come up to me whining, they have to do push ups.
(Win/wins like that don’t come around very often, readers.)
All 6 of us agree that there is nothing like the feeling of power you feel when you learn a new kick or form, or when you break a board or surprise yourself with your endurance after being pushed to your physical limit. It is amazing and we never leave class without feeling great about ourselves. To anybody who is looking for a way to build themselves up and feel strong, confident, and yes, powerful, I highly recommend signing up for Tae Kwon Do. Even if you are the only adult in the class, as I am, it is so much fun and so good for your spirit.
I am definitely not completely there yet. My desk is still a mess and I am definitely still not organized. My social game is still not the greatest. I still have things flying out of my mouth that seem to come from some room in my brain where all the files are mislabeled. I still struggle to meet new people. But you know what? I will get there. I will get there for all of it when its time for me to get there. Everything in my life has sort of fallen into place over the past few years as I have stayed true to my map and just followed the natural progression of the path that I am on. I am going to stay on it and I am really excited to see where I am a year from now and then five and ten years from now.
I may not have been into what I feel is the “perfect” life for me, but I have a great life and SO much to be thankful for. It’s up to me to find a way, within this life, to no longer feel homesick. And that is what I am going to do.
So what is the point of this post?
It’s to let you know that your life is yours for the making.
With a few exceptions of course, you can create whatever reality you want for yourself.
All you have to do is decide who you want to be.
Once you decide who you want to be, you simply turn that into who you are.
Think of yourself as an ever-evolving project. That is the attitude that keeps me going every day. I will keep evolving and becoming the person I want to be until the day I die. And after I take my last breath and have reached “The End”, it is my hope that I will have left behind a great story with a strong and inspiring main character. That is what I consider to be the purpose of my life other than raising my children and writing about anxiety.
Spend some time in the “float zone” if you aren’t feeling terribly inspired right now and the idea of trying to figure out who you are seems just a bit too overwhelming.
Don’t underestimate the float zone.
It may feel like nothing is going on there, but trust me, your subconscious is taking notes. Just let it do its thing while you hang loose for a while. In the meantime, try different styles of clothes and hair until you find one that makes you feel confident and great about yourself and fits in with the new image you see of your future self. Or if that isn’t your thing, try some new hobbies, change up your routine, go to new places, read biographies and try new things in an attempt to find what feels like a good fit for you. You will know when you find something that rings true to the person you want to be. It will feel good. It will feel right.
Always remember that you are the author of the story of your life.
You are the main character of the book, the star of the show, and you have the power to make that character look, sound, and be whomever you want him or her to be.
Are their personality traits you admire in others? Why can’t they be yours? Is there a job or education that you wish you could have? Then become a person who is working toward getting that job or education. Do you want to feel more strong and confident? Do your best to behave as if you are already strong and confident and let your brain and mind catch up when they are ready.
I am not saying you will be able to snap your fingers and change who you are. But
alway aspire to become that person. Put yourself in the mindset of that person. Use affirmations to guide you. Go to places where people like the new “you” go. Find your tribe. Get help from a counselor or support group if you need extra guidance. Becoming who you want to be is an evolutionary process and every step is important and will help guide you on to the next step.
There may be things you strive for that just don’t seem possible no matter how hard you try. If it just isn’t possible, maybe that is a sign from your destiny that you are on the wrong path.
Write yourself a different path!
Every great story has a plot twist or two….and you can write in and write out other characters into your story as you see fit. That is a lot of power you have there!
Remember – you didn’t come with a rule book, instruction manual or a contract. Who you are is whomever you want to be and whatever feels good and right to you.
Its your story. You hold the pen.