I think we go through multiple phases in our life where everything we’ve ever known gets ripped out from under us. Either forcibly by others or the Universe, or by the own choices we make for ourselves.
Every time we break, we have to rebuild. The death and rebirth process, much like a snake shedding its skin. We are stripped of what we knew, what we thought would always be, and we are forced to re-examine every belief, every purpose, every emotion, and every direction and path in front of us.
The beauty of living in a capitalistic society, is if you conform, your life is mapped out for you. There’s a roadmap of “how to have a successful life.” Having guidelines and having structure have been proven to do wonders for mental health.
It isn’t until you begin questioning the validity of the roadmap, wondering if there’s another world outside of it begging to be explored.
Death & Rebirth
The hardships of taking the road less traveled are many. And I think we all do it at different times in our lives. Grief and loss shock our system, revealing uncharted territory in our subconscious. Graduating from school, changing our career paths, changing our relationship status, relationship evolution, moving cities, states, or countries, reaching certain age milestones, body fluctuations, disease and illness, bringing life into this world… they change us, they shape us, and rarely is there a true guidebook on how to move through them.
Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And each morning, when I wake, I am reborn.Mahatma Gandhi
Many studies have been done around grief, depression, and major life changes and the emotions that surround them. But nothing can prepare you for the uniqueness of it all. Each person handles change differently, and there is a different purpose each time they experience it. Some changes are earth shattering, while others bring freedom, excitement, and an air of lightness. But through each of them, we are mutating and shifting.
Each change requires us to adapt, mutate, and evolve. We see the world through a new lens, and we create new beliefs around what lies before us. Sometimes life changes require us to dismantle ourselves and our beliefs. It requires us to break everything apart and re-examine what is truly ours. What belongs to us or what was taught to us?
Finding our authenticity can be freeing, but it can also be dark and lonely. The existential question of “who am I?” can be ever perplexing. Sometimes, there is no real answer without outside influence, and sometimes, there is a deep inner knowing that appears showing us that we have always been exactly what we are.
Carving your own path for your life takes courage. It takes strength to question everything from your past and re-evaluate what you want for your future. It takes resilience to be present in the discomfort as your entire world as you knew it falls and is replaced by something else. They cannot prepare you for the depth of your emotions as you face major life changes. Part of the process is feeling them fully to experience a life well lived.
A friendly reminder, if your world is being dismantled… never hesitate to ask for help. It can be scary and feel somewhat burdensome. There is help, comfort, and love that surrounds you, sometimes, all you have to do is ask.