Moving to a new place......aka, stressfully finding self again
Moving can be such a stressful thing. You uprooted from everything you have known and are thrust into a new home, with new neighbors, a new job (if you’re lucky enough to have one right away), new schools for your children and no friends in the area. Sounds fun right? But people do it and survive and adapt to the new environment. We paint the house and make it look familiar with our belongings. We meet neighbors and people at work. We encourage our children to make friends at their new school and pray they make good friends. We adapt and eventually, feel a sense of home again.
Moving can feel traumatic in some ways, so it makes sense that the whole process feels in line with other various kinds of trauma people experience. People go through all kinds of changes that cause some periodic chaos. Some of the most impactful ones are when we come in contact with some of that evil that exists in this world. You may have experienced this and then had that sense of feeling lost and alone. Even if you live in the same place, it can feel like you were just uprooted and moved into a whole new world….and not the kind Aladdin sings about. When others invade our sense of personal boundaries, be it physically, sexually, emotionally or financially, you can feel like a part of you has been taken away. You feel utterly different.
This process is painful and confusing, because how in the world does it make sense that another person would do such a thing? But, just like when we move to a new town and feel fully lost and isolated, WE are still there. You are still with you. You will always be with you. So knowing who that person is and still gets to be after the horrible incident can be life saving.
So, who are you? That is more than a name or an occupation or a role you play, even though those definitely contribute to our sense of who we are. What kind of a person are you? Introverted, extroverted, strong silent type, in touch with your feelings, aware of others’ feelings, funny, kind, strict, serious, generous, planful, spontaneous…..the list could go on, but you get the idea. These kinds of things make up our personality and how we interact with others. Deeper that that rests our values. What do you value? What matters more than anything else? Family closeness, honesty, providing a comfortable living, having nice things because hey, I can and I should; having nothing because hey, someone else should; teaching others, love, fun, excitement, freedom…and that list could go on. Find those things that are true about you across circumstances. Find those places where you breathe a sigh of relief because you can just be you. What do you do/think/feel when you take off that mask you wear for everyone else? There is a purpose and a place for you that only you can fill. Sometimes life events make us feel so disconnected from who we actually are and we protect ourselves by putting on layer after layer, but you are still there. Find you and live into that. Just start with being curious about your own interests, comforts, and values. Who knows? You may be able to find some of that comfort after a big move.