This weekend, my best friend, Ashley threw me the most beautiful bridal shower. It was a tea party complete with tea sandwiches, scones and my vinatge tea cup collection I started when I was ten. The best part was being with my oldest friends-women I’ve known since preschool, and my mother’s friends from Sherborn-mostly mothers of the kids I grew up with, all of whom have seen me through every stage of my life.
The most amazing part of having friends that have been there your whole life is that even though we can see how much we have all changed, it becomes really clear that there is something in each of us – our essence, inner light, core being, soul, personality (whatever you want to call it) – that is very much, oddly, the same. Spending time with these women and listening to their stories of childhood reminded me of that permenence we all have.
So often, in our recent lives, we hold onto concrete things to define our identity.
“I am fat”
“I am poor”
“I am smart”
“I am married”
We hold onto thes identifiers like rules:
“I can’t try on wedding dresses because I am fat”
“I don’t ever go on vacation because I am poor”
Somehow, these labels become our reality, and many times, it is the negative traits we use to give ourselves an identity. We want so badly to lose weight, make more money, or find a boyfriend in order to change our seemingly less than perfect lives. But since we’ve been holding on so tightly to our labels, and made these traits part of who we are, they are very hard to let go of.
Many of my clients come to the realization that…
“If I’m not the pudgy girl, who am I?
“If I’m not Joe’s wife, or Susie’s mother, who am I?”
If we remove what we’ve been defined as “who we are” then we are left wih nothing, and change becomes very hard and painful.
So this weekend, being surrounded by people who knew me before, during and after I was pudgy, people who knew me when I waited (not so patiently) for my first kiss and screamed through the phone when I got engaged, were there for finger painting and getting into college, from feeding each other make believe cake made out of sand to sitting around our dining room tables having dinner parties…the memories can go on forever… I am reminded that we are so much more than all the labels we assign to our essence. We just are who we are, that unexplainable feeling in our bellies, that glint in our eyes, that will always be there and will always be the same.
Hold onto that, let go of the labels, and call an old friend if you need help remembering who you are.
Simple actions to take your life back, know your worth & feel alive no matter how drained, overwhelmed and far gone you feel.