Every single one of us craves the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves. By nature, we are tribal, and back in our caveman days, tribal culture was necessary for survival.
I have always been a daydreamer, as a kid, I would fantasize a lot, I was trapped in a fantasy world wishing and hoping for something or someone to make me feel loved and content, it became a form of escapism.
Growing up I spent much of my life tiptoeing around my desire to find a group of people among whom I could be accepted, I always felt on the outside, I felt like everyone had someone and I had no one. I would adapt like a chameleon to fit into a group that felt safe and secure from the outside. I was on a continual search but my tribe the people who I belonged to kept on eluding me.
In my teens I became a young mom, in a new relationship, I was caught up in a new identity and I gave up on my longing to fit in, my new mission was to deal with the cards I had dealt myself and get on with life. But there was always something missing, that longing for something, I still didn’t know what, but it was still there. I turned to drugs to drown out the dull ache, the empty feeling of loss, I would seek out others who I assumed would make me feel perfect, happy or content. – that clearly didn’t work
It wasn’t until I turned (or should I say was forced) to turn the spotlight on myself that I realised that the stories about what was normal and what I thought was perfection I’d been telling myself simply wasn’t true and the tribe or persons I was looking for, didn’t exist.
I learned that the something I was searching for was already there, in me
I realised I had been trying to cover the inner void with appearances, acting in ways that were socially acceptable but in doing that I wasn’t actually investing any time or attention on me, I was constantly avoiding me.
According to Byron Katie “We have 20/20 vision about others, but not about ourselves.” I have learned and am still learning a lot about how not to be the victim and started taking personal responsibility for what happens to myself, rather than blaming everybody else.
As a society we have a skewed image of normal, we perceive that normal becomes having the ideal relationship — or a relationship — a solid emotional self, a healthy life, plenty of money, drive and motivation, clear objectives, and an established sense of purpose. The implication is, that without these things, you’re not normal, I realised that normal doesn’t exist and if it does I would much rather be abnormal thank you very much.
We live in a society where individuals don’t know how to be truthful and how to come clean with each other, in a society that worships an idea of perfection and is neither open nor tolerant of difficulty or even difference.
But life is about challenge and doubt. We cannot escape it but we can restore balance when the balance isn’t present but to understand this requires you being connected with yourself to even begin to acknowledge it.
I learned that honesty had become a dirty word and that many people are scared, to tell the truth, out of fear of rejection, myself included.
I learned to realise that instead of trying to be part of a tribe that already existed, I would need to create my own. I now realise that there were people who I had, overlooked on my quest to find my “perfect tribe”. I had missed/overlooked them because they might have looked different to me or didn’t have anything in common with.
I learned to be more open, take some risks and let people in, turns out that some of those people I let in have become my most unlikely friendships will last a lifetime.
Connection doesn’t necessarily involve knowing all the answers — but at least knowing what the questions helps? It’s ok to have issues, and experience challenges. It is ok to know some things and not know others, to navigate something, or handling a type of experience or feeling. Fear is normal. Anxiety is normal. Insecurity is normal.
I have learned the hard way and that being honest with yourself is not the easiest thing to do. Looking after everyone else, putting their need first, while your needs are put on the back burner doesn’t work.
The weight of responsibility can feel like a heavy burden at times, it can also feel lonely, but the bottom line is that “this is your life to fix and shape as you see fit.” Healing takes time and distance to pick up the pieces that were broken, there are NO QUICK FIXES.
We live in a society where it feels like technology is taking over, how we communicate is very different than it used to be, (I”m not saying its all bad) but it will not and cannot replace being able to sit opposite someone in person, look each other in the eyes, and have meaningful, genuine conversations about what truly, deeply matters to you.
Something or someone can never fix the relationship that we have with ourselves, because the reality is, that the only thing or person that can do that for us, is ourselves.
Do yourself a favor
Make time for you, even if it’s 5 minutes a day
Remind yourself that you are enough, even when you might not feel like you are enough
Ask yourself “how are you feeling?” Answer yourself honestly
Start to get to know who you really are, question everything, including your own thoughts!
And most of all, try not to be afraid
Learn from your mistakes
I promise this – The more you learn about yourself the closer to will get to accepting yourself