If you’re following me on this Freeway series, I just want to say thank you so much! I hope that by sharing my thoughts and life experiences, we can work together to ease the burdens of life, and truly enjoy everything it has to offer. Today I bring you the second step in the Freeway series. To be honest this step can be a little difficult because it forces us to take a look at ourselves and do some self-evaluation. We’re going to be looking underneath the surface to figure out why you’re feeling the way you are.
Before we begin, this step is going to require some careful digging and exploration. It may bring up some horrible memories and it may even make you not feel so great about yourself. Be gentle with yourself and your heart. This isn’t meant to make you feel horrible, it’s meant to help you discover who you are.
Now that that’s out of the way, the first thing we’re going to look at is what feels broken within? Is it your body, soul, heart, mind, or something else all together? Why do they feel that way? Have things not been going as planned? Has something happened with someone else that’s causing you to feel this way? What is it?
For me, my mind and soul feel broken. Mainly because, I’ve been struggling with the feeling that I’m not doing what I truly want to do and I have to be okay with it. It’s taking me a long time to process the fact that I may never be successful in what I truly want to do and I may not be able to make the life that I want a reality. My soul has been hurting too because right now, it just feels lost – almost like it’s been wandering in a circle, not sure what it’s meant to do.
*When we know what’s feeling broken, we can then dive deeper into trying to figure out why those things feel broken. Again, we must take the time to self-evaluate and understand where we are in life.
This activity may seem a little weird, but now we’re going to think about the happiest year and the hardest year and we’re going to explore why it was the happiest/hardest year.
My happiest year has to have been 2013 – it was the first time that I felt some type of balance in my life. My boyfriend and I just became a couple (March), I felt like I had friends that I could talk to, I felt like I was at the top of my bowling game, my family and I grew so close to each other, and I just felt like I had everything under control. My heart, body, and soul, felt so loved and full!
The most difficult year was 2010 – Though there were so many amazing things that happened: graduating high school, sister in remission, new beginnings, it was also the year that I felt the so lost, alone, worthless, etc. It was the year that I moved to the mainland, and let me tell you, though I had my family, I felt so alone. There really was no words to describe how I felt when I would walk through campus and see people talking with their friends, grabbing lunch together, studying together, etc. I longed for that so badly. However, I didn’t want to tell any of my friends back home really how I felt because I didn’t want them to think that I was pathetic and a loser. So I just bottled it up inside of me.
*Understanding what comprised our best and hardest year provides us some insight into what’s really important to us. We can also learn how we pulled ourselves out of those difficult situations. Remember, the past can help us with the future.
Next we’re going to make two lists. List one is going to be things that scare us that we’re okay with telling other people. The second list is going to be things that scare us that we don’t want others to know.
List 1: I’m scared of: heights, driving (but I still do it), snakes, spiders, lizards, alligators, crocodiles, being behind big 18 wheelers that are carrying things like pipes, fire, drowning, surgery, flying long distances, and car breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
List 2: I’m scared of: losing my loved ones (death), failing in my relationship, dying while still young, not living up to people’s expectations, not being perfect, not being able to do something correct the first time, not being the best, the future, my career, not reaching the goals I have for myself, losing people around me, the ones that I care about feeling like they’re left behind, and not being the sister/girlfriend/daughter/granddaughter/niece/friend/etc that I should be.
*Learning about our fears and understanding what our fears are, we can then learn how to live with the fears we carry. For example, I’m scared of snakes – they just freak me out and I get the goosebumps just thinking about them. However, that doesn’t stop me from exploring the wilderness or taking walks. Though I’m a total girly-girl and a city-girl, I do like exploring nature. We can’t let our fears stop us from living our lives. I’m also scared of losing my loved ones, but instead of running away from them so that way I don’t have any connection/bond and it’d be easier to cope if I did lose them, I choose to create memories with them, to spend time with them. That way I have wonderful memories to continue to carry with me.
Now that we listed down our fears and kind of saw how that prevented us from doing some things in our lives, let’s talk about our strengths. So what are your top 3 strengths?
Mine are: devoted, trusting, and supportive. I definitely feel like this is where I excel and I feel like these are the reasons why people get this “warm, fuzzy feeling” from me.
*It’s important to know your strengths, because these are the reasons people turn to you. Plus, it’s also a great way to boost your self confidence. If you’re not sure what your strengths are, ask a close friend or family member and see what they have to say. Keep in mind, we’re often harder on ourselves.
Discovering who we are is essential to learning how we handle things and understanding why we do the things we do. Here are some questions from the Freeway book to think about:
- How do you feel when you’re looking for something? Excited? Frustrated?
- Have you ever looked for something that you really weren’t that interested in finding? How is that different from looking for something that you were truly interested in finding?
- Pain hides from our lives the same way simple things can hide from us (e.g.: looking for butter in the fridge). It’s said that we have to go looking for the root of our pain in order for us to deal with it in a healthy way. Do you agree or disagree?
- In a related video, some examples of how we unintentionally hurt people are given. In the film the character says, “I knew I was a neat freak, but I had no idea how my neatfreakness was impacting my family.” Have you ever experienced that with someone else?
- Who can you talk to that you trust to help you discover your blind spots (characteristics that you personally don’t see) and their impact on others? In other words: who do you trust to help you find the butter?
- How will this journey of discovery help you become free?
In order to be free we must be able to live with the pains and scars. It’s not an easy journey, so be gentle with yourself.