How Can I Really Figure Out Who I AM? — PART 1

The following is a work-in-progress excerpt from my upcoming book The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding Yourselfdue out December 2019.

Feeling lost is a symptom of a deeper uncertainty: not knowing who you are anymore.

It’s uncomfortable not to know where you fit or what should happen next in your life. Faced with that discomfort in your “lost season,“ what is your habitual response?

Do you stuff down the feeling and try to move on with your everyday life? Do you drown the uncertainty in emotional eating, a Netflix binge or shopping? Or do you put your analytical hat on and attempt to reason your way through it?

If you’re like me (and like the women I speak with in my coaching practice), you have tried these different strategies to rid you of that “lost” feeling. Some might have worked better than others. Chances are, however, that none of them actually helped you get free from the lost feeling altogether. 

Of all the coping strategies on the list above, the first one (“just stuff it down and keep moving”) and the second one (“just drown out all your sorrow”) are easy to recognize as problematic.

But the last one... reasoning your way through it? What’s wrong with that?

Using rational analysis to understand yourself and guide your life can be useful. But it is dangerous to rely solely on on this tool. Especially because it feels like the right and logical thing to do. 

As a modern woman, I was taught to be savvy and “use my head.” I was told not to let my heart or my intuition lead the day. When I acted on this well-meant advice, though, I noticed something interesting. 

Problems related to doing could usually be solved with the head. But problems of being went so much deeper than the mind. They required additional insight I could not seem to access through my thoughts, no matter how hard I tried.

During my lost season during and after my divorce, retreating into my thoughts to resolve my questions only led to greater isolation and frustration

So I went on a search for alternative methods.

Eventually, I understood that there are four primary channels for understanding ourselves—and only one of them involves analytic thought or analysis. 

The four channels are: 

  • Soul (or Spirit)
  • Emotions
  • Body
  • Mind

Exploring all of these channels in unison empowers you to access all the wisdom that is available to you to understand yourself better. These insights are critical to help you embody or “show up in the world as” who you truly are. If any one of them is left unexamined, a part of yourself has (in a sense) been abandoned.

After all, you are not just your mind. You are your physical, feminine form. You are your wild and messy emotions. You are your unique soul, fashioned in the image of God. If you are disconnected from any one of these parts of yourself, you will always always struggle to fully express your desires and gifts. 

When I began to reconnect deeply with all of these channels of self-insight, I began to get my answers and see the path forward. I realized that God had planted clues to my purpose and calling in every aspect of my being.

It was just up to me to discover them!

We will look at each one in greater depth in this book. Before we do that, here’s a quick overview of what each means and why it is useful.

Self-Knowledge Channel #1—SOUL

Your soul is the intangible, invisible part of you that will outlast your physical body. It is the source of the light and spark that makes you who you are. It is given to you by God and is as individual as a fingerprint.

I believe your soul is what makes you different from every other creature on the planet. I also believe that God is the One who knows best how to nourish, care for and grow this amazing inner part of you. Where else would you go for a “user’s manual” on the soul, than to the One Who fashioned it?

Psalm 139:1-2 says, “Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul...”

Through your soul, you are enabled to connect with God Himself and to His beautiful purpose for your life. Your soul is the place where you can sense those divine promptings and receive guidance for each step of the day, if you want it. If you are a Christian, the soul is the place where the Holy Spirit comforts and guides you.

Put simply, your soul is the divine compass God has given you to find your way out of the lost season.

Perhaps the thought of all this makes you uncomfortable? Or you are not sure how you feel about bringing spiritual ideas into the conversation? If so, that is totally okay.

If talk about the soul is new or awkward for you, I invited you just to sit with the discomfort. Let the idea sink in. Ponder what ways it might be true for your life. How would things be different in your daily life if you had a free-flowing channel of divine insight that you could tap into any time you need it?

Really getting acquainted with and caring for my soul was the most important work I did after my big life shift in 2016. I had known the language of my soul deeply as a child, and I could recite teachings from the Bible about it. But I had drifted away from all that knowledge as an adult. 

Though I would have told you I believed I had a soul, I was not in tune with God speaking to me there. I had spent years making well-meant decision after well-meant decision that went against who I knew I was deep in my soul.

No wonder I had wound up feeling so lost.

Coming “home” to that part of myself was awkward and painful, but God was patient with me as I reconnected with my soul  and ultimately, with Him. And I am so glad He was!

Part of this homecoming involved understanding why I had disconnected from my soul in the first place.

In my life and my coaching practice, I see three main reasons why any woman might disconnect from her spiritual core and try to gain insight in other ways.

Which of these reasons resonates for you?

First, you might have grown up in an environment where no one was caring for their soul at all. What you are normed to as children influences your perception of reality for years to come. If that reality was a completely secular outlook, it is no wonder you might feel a little “skittish” when someone starts taking in spiritual terms.

A secular lifestyle tends to elevate the insights of the mind because they can be analyzed and proven. Whereas the language of the soul is faith ... and faith requires trust.

The second reason women can become disconnected from their souls is through spiritual abuse. This was more my story. If you attended a church or faith community where your spiritual trust was taken advantage of, or leveraged to keep you in fear, it can be easy for you to shut down that channel altogether.

Many women have told me, “I used to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit, but people at my church told me I was crazy.” Or, “I had such a bad experience with abusive spiritual leadership that I left church and shut that part of myself down.”

It’s important to remember that God is not a human being, and poor spiritual leadership does not reflect His heart. He desires you to understand who He created you to be—and walk with confidence in that calling. 

Finally, you might feel too unworthy to receive God’s love, time, attention and personal communication about your life. When you don’t fully understand your inestimable worth to God... it’s easy to discount that worth. You end up overlooking yourself. You go through life assuming that if there is a God, He wouldn’t bother to speak to you about the smallest detail of your life.

Sometimes others convince as that we are not important or good enough for God’s attention. Perhaps other people have told you you’re worthless. Maybe they have even treated you that way. 

I am here today to say: their behavior does not reflect the truth! You have a priceless soul, and it is full of insight on who you are. God is also waiting to speak to you there, if you will receive Him.

The question is ... will you?

Even if you currently attend church or another faith community, you might have become distant and disconnected from your soul, and from communion with God in that space. Or you might never have experienced a loving, personal connection with God at all.

In any case, He is waiting for your “yes.”

Are you ready to receive a greater spiritual connection with the deepest, most intangible and eternal part of yourself? And if so, are you willing to listen honestly to what you hear?

Doing so will require you to commit to a new level of faith and trust. But as you might have guessed by now, faith and trust are the greatest gifts your lost season is meant to bestow.

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Does all this resonate with your soul?
Learn more about my online course,
90 Days to Be a Free & Fearless You.

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