Growing Pains: I'm lonely, but I'm growing.
Original post date April 11, 2016
Lonely: causing sad feelings that come from being apart from other people
"I was so lost, waiting for happiness and growth to appear magically. I was often told to "Be happy, love yourself, figure it out," do better", but no one ever showed me how to achieve these things. I envision BLCNY being that "how to" blueprint place for girls and women."
This quote was composed as a part of BLCNY's mission statement and my speech, given at the launch event. At the time, I was and still am happily achieving my goals, but I was scared to admit one thing, I was extremely lonely in my growth. Creating a "how to" place, focused on emotional health, pain management, and healing, is significantly important to me because, as I stated above, people often bark opinions, advice, and judgement, to those who they deem 'lost,' misguided or seeking, but leave the out one the most important parts of business minding, which is guidance and support. My loneliness stemmed from being in a new physical, emotional and metal head space. I no longer had a need for certain worldly people, places, and things, so my drift from my 'normal' into "you've changed" began. No longer fitting in and having the same interest as people you've known almost all of your life, leaves you emotionally stranded, searching for a life preserver. No one ever told me I'd feel misunderstood, scared, sensitive and raw, on my way to a higher vibing, more responsible me. "I'm moving, why aren't you moving too?" I thought about some of my friends and family. Is it selfish of me to assume that my journey should be theirs?
Mourning: the act of sorrowing
The mourning period began when I started life coaching certification classes. For the first time in a long time, I couldn't attend brunches, late nights out, and various sometimes fun, money draining events; I had no interested other than the topics of my classes, homework, clients, business plans, LLC's, etc. I felt guilty for growing. And then I felt guilty about my guilt, for feeling guilty. After several years of being in tuned with my circle, I suddenly felt like the outsider. There was now an empty space in the world that my old character used to fill. As a former self-sabotage-er, I mastered the signs and decided that I had to figure out what part of my self-image was false, and I needed to live up to it or lose it. It was fine to miss and reminisce, about yesteryear, but it wasn't ok to disrespect my purpose and achievements by allowing guilt to overshadow the blessings I asked God for, that he graciously was bestowing on me.
Growth: progressive development
The educator, Iyanla Vanzant says pain stands for Pay Attention Inward Now. So that's what I did, I looked inward to address and decipher why and what I was feeling. I realized that I was scared of no longer being popular, in the way I've always been. If I didn't party, have a drink in my hand, and partake in everything else I used to frequent, would I still matter? The answer: A resounding HELL YES!! I am ALWAYS ENOUGH! By acknowledging and feeling our feelings, we allow them to flow freely and escape. When that happens, we clear our mental and emotional space for clarity. When I did this, I realized that some of my friends and family were in mourning too. Though some of your loved ones are happy for you, it's not easy to watch someone become a new version of themselves, without your permission. Just as I wondered if my new driven self would be accepted, and supported, some of them wondered if they would still be accepted by me, and if we'd have anything in common anymore. The reality is, everyone can't and won't come with you. There are many people, who you thought would always be there, that won't. Their definition of friendship and support, will differ from yours. It will hurt like hell, but with less focus on the expectation we put on others, acknowledgment and focus on the present, this abandonment feeling does not have to last forever. Whoever is meant to be a part of your evolution, will be there through its duration in some capacity. I'll turn my mourning into a celebration of life, lessons and place those who I lost on the other side of the glass, of my memories museum.
Whatever doesn't grow dies. We all mature physically and numerically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually, is optional. I refuse to die, so I will make the Better Life Choice to continue to evolving, processing and embracing these growing pains,while being open to going new experiences, places, new, like-minded individuals, who share my interest; as well as aim to continue to connect with my friends and bond on the new levels we're on. Adulting is so hard! But nobody told me that. Did they tell you?
It has been said that one's evolution will require isolation. Knowing this does nothing to take the anxiety and fear of separation and loneliness away from me. I'm growing, but I'm lonely is more than just a blog I wrote this was a reality from my perception. The beautiful thing about growth is the process. In the year since I originally wrote this blog, I've learned so much. I now understand and attempt to define my feelings and emotions correctly, before labeling them something they may not be. Here's one major thing I learned: there is a difference in being alone vs. being lonely. Being “By Yourself” is when you feel the lack, the separation, and the deprivation of something or someone else. Being “With Yourself” is when you’re taking the time to get acquainted or reacquainted with who you are and the life that’s flowing within you. I'm am not lonely; I am alone with myself. Hello, Clarity!
Are there times during my journey that I feel like I'm by myself and am lonely? YES! But for the most part, that's not what it is, at least for me. Knowing the difference helped me break down and dissect my 'FOMO' fear of missing out, not being recognized for who I now am vs. who I was, or fitting in with those I've always known. Those fears are now trumped by my appreciation feelings for who they were to me, and me to them; what we've shared; and the excitement of who I'm becoming, where I'm going, who I will meet and what will develop. I'm with myself.
x Stefanie, Life Architect
Have you experienced "By Yourself" or "With Yourself"? Are you experiencing "growing pains?"
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