The act of losing home — be it a physical place or an identity — can be devastating. No person is immune to the ravages of time and circumstance, and sometimes those losses are so great that they catch us off guard. When we feel like we have lost part of ourselves, reclaiming our sense of self can be a daunting task. When life throws us into a tailspin and causes us to lose sight of who we were, we need to take the initiative and actively build that sense of self back up.
One way to start on this journey is to simply pay attention. Take a step back and truly observe the realities of your situation. Let the daily happenings and moments of joy and pain wash over you, and learn how to cope with different events as they come. This will help bring clarity and perspective about life’s changes. Slowly, as you become aware of what you have gained and lost and how your experiences have reshaped you, you may begin to regain a sense of yourself.
It is important to remember that change is inevitable and sometimes necessary. Even if a particular outcome was not in our control, we still have the ability to become stronger and define a new sense of self. It’s not easy, but by choosing to actively accept and embrace change, we can often make it feel more manageable.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Our friends and family are an invaluable resource, and talking with them about what we’re going through can often keep us motivated and help us strengthen our inner resolve. Check in with yourself, ask yourself tough questions and push yourself to answer honestly. People need to feel supported and cared for to work through difficult times, and having people in your corner can make all the difference when it comes to finding that sense of self again.
Although there is no single path on the journey to rediscovering the self, there may be a few useful ways to get started. Taking the time to appreciate the good things in life can boost confidence and put our problems into better perspective. Reflecting on our successes and drawing on our strengths can also help. Additionally, being creative can help tap into buried reserves of energy; consider taking up a hobby or starting a project that will challenge you in unfamiliar and exciting ways. Lastly, creating an intentional practice of self-care that works just for you can be helpful in creating an environment where clarity of thought can exist.
Starting the journey of rebuilding a sense of self can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be done alone. Life might have knocked you down, but you still have the power to pick yourself back up and find a new version of yourself. It isn’t easy, but with the right tools and support, it is possible — and worthwhile — to put the pieces back together and construct a unique and meaningful identity.