When Things Fall Apart.
Things falling apart in any area of our lives can feel very scary and threatening, and all the more if it happens in more than one place at once.
We all want to be able to define ourselves by certain things. It’s important to feel like we have an identity and to know who we are. We look to relationships, careers and other things outside of ourselves to help define us. We label ourselves.
Depending on how these things are going, we tend to feel better or worse. We look to these things as a measure of our self-worth. Other people also rate these things as a barometer of our success, and how well we’re doing. We compare ourselves to others and either feel good or bad as a result.
But we will always feel inferior to some people and superior to others when using this way of thinking. Realizing that we are all equal is the end of the ego.
What if it was all stripped back? The relationships, the career, how much you earn and anything else you identify with or use to define you. What would be left?
It would be you, left standing at the center of things — just you.
The same you that came into this world with nothing. And who will leave it being able to take none of these things with them.
Just you, the essence of you and who you are.
We have to remember this when things around us are feeling shaky. Where there are changes afoot or we are dealing with loss. We have to remember that these are just our physical circumstances, they are not who we are.
Who we are is what we are on the inside. It’s the love we bring. It’s the essence of us and the difference we make just by being ourselves.
Nobody or nothing can take that away. We were born with it and it’s ours to keep. We shouldn’t underestimate it.
The more we look to define ourselves by things outside of us, the more we are forgetting about what we already have within us. And the more unstable we become.
Let what you create on the outside be an expression of what you are on the inside, rather than an attempt to fill a void that you feel within. Get the inside right and the outside will fall into place.
If things are crumbling around you, then let them crumble. Know that you don’t need these things anymore. Be brave and hold on to what you have inside you.
When things fall apart, it can be tempting to look for the next thing to cling to. Instead, we can find the most solid ground by going inward and building a new robust foundation for ourselves.
What sustains us when times get rough?
What can we rely on?
What do we know about ourselves, about our spirits, about our strength? That nobody can take away.
When things crumble around you, it can trigger a lot of fear. Those safety nets and structures that once defined you are no longer there, holding you in place. It can feel like you’re blowing around in the wind.
So steady yourself, anchor in and down; plant your feet and breathe.
Know that you don’t need those structures anymore. You don’t need that protection. Maybe they were limiting you. You have all you need within you.
So rise up and stand tall, stronger and braver than before.
Stripped back, exposed, vulnerable — maybe so, but one hundred percent real and one hundred percent you.
Kelly Burns is a UK-based writer, coach, and researcher, specializing in women’s health, social psychology and the mind-body connection. She writes for both print and online publications, working on a flexible and freelance basis. Kelly also offers the un-sticking and clarity coaching package, for anyone looking for purpose or direction with their career, or going through any big transition to create a life they love. She is the author of the Inner Jewel blog. You can get in touch with her via her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.