Coming home to yourself

Many of us have been abandoned in one way or another. Maybe by a lover or a friend, a coworker or a parent. Maybe when a loved one died, a feeling of abandonment persisted. Maybe the abandonment was on a spiritual level. Abandonment comes in all shapes and sizes, and often leaves trauma in the life of the one who experienced it.

I had some deep abandonment in my life, but didn’t know I had challenges related to it until later in life. I also abandoned others. It was unintentional because I didn’t want to abandon another after having been myself. How does that happen? I desired to stop dysfunctional patterns, not perpetuate them! It shook me when I was confronted with what I had done. The way in which I abandoned others was in a totally different way than it had been done to me as it can be subtle. Nonetheless, I had to face I had abandoned others I loved deeply.

One of the most surprising things I learned in therapy was learning much of this stemmed from my own self abandonment! I was detached from myself and had to discover what that meant. Here’s some ways it happens: not valuing oneself; diminishing or discounting feelings; and hiding parts of self like beliefs, ideas, and feelings to fit in or please others. Not acting in our own best interest. Ignoring the body, which never lies to us, and neglecting self-care on any level. Not trusting our own instincts or asking for what we need. Failure to set healthy boundaries and allowing others to take advantage.

Can you relate to any of these? I did!

We may have learned these behaviors initially to cope with trauma or unhealthy happenings in our lives. The good news is we can learn how to stop abandoning ourselves and start showing up for ourselves! The road of recovery empowers us to love ourselves and trust ourselves again– – or maybe truly for the first time ever. To have compassion and forgiveness for self.

Have you ever thought about the fact that the longest relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself? Coming home to yourself takes time – it’s a lifelong journey. No one can do this for you, however, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Not thinking you can have needs, or ask for help are telltale signs of this abandonment.

This is your time. Be gentle with yourself. Feel what you’re feeling. Start simply by asking what you feel and need in each moment. Act on what your heart tells you. Maybe it’s a drink of water; a five-minute rest to breathe; write out, draw or paint your feelings; walk, pray, or meditate; talk with a non-judgmental person and ask for what you need, try a support group… the possibilities are endless.

In a different moment, the heart’s message will be different. Act on that. One moment at a time leads you to the next and next allowing you to enjoy your own journey of heart as you witness the unfolding of your own true self.

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.