One cool and sunny fall afternoon a friend of mine invited me to go hiking with her. As good friends do, we talked about everything. During our conversation, my friend shared that she felt as if she had lost herself. She said, “I’m not quite sure when it happened, but I lost HER and I want to go back and search for HER.” I listened as she spoke. Those words resonated within me. “…I want to go back and search for HER.” I remembered some sound advice that a good friend once shared with me after my divorce; “A new relationship cannot be built upon the ashes of an old one”. At the time I thought his advice only applied to romantic relationships. I later would find that those wise words applied to just about any relationship. Even the relationship we have with ourselves.
My friend had undergone many personal upheavals in recent years but the sudden death of her brother had been especially hard for her. She saw him as more than a sibling; he had been her mentor, her motivator. They had been inseparable. She shared with me that in grieving the loss of her brother, she realized that she had lost the adventurous, fearless, risk taker she once was. How had she gotten lost along the way? What did she stand to gain in getting HER back? So we went deeper. My friend felt that her former self was better equipped to handle the new journey she was on. I could relate to what she said. There had been times when I felt as if the younger version of me was more regimented and more disciplined. She was more adept at balancing her personal and professional life. The caveat was that my former self was inexperienced as to how to navigate the world; she was naive and uncertain of herself
The more we spoke the more we came to the realization that our former selves would be unable to deal with our current lives. She would not be able to apply the lessons we’ve acquired along the way, the experiences we’ve had, and the wisdom we’ve acquired. I shared my thoughts with my friend, “Although your former self may have been fierce and adventurous, she was more naive. The present you is wiser and steadfast in her desires. She is the result of life’s journey that is helping you to sort out and clearly define what you want in life.”
Truthfully, I don’t think we ever lose “HER.” Our former selves simply undergo a transformation. Albert Einstein stated that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed from one form to another. Our experiences help us to become better versions of our former selves.
Today, the turbulence has passed and my friend is in a loving relationship with a wonderful man. They’ve started a family and she is growing in her career. She’s made many positive changes in her life and is coming into her own. I myself, am coming into my own, STILL. Every time I think I’ve arrived, I find that there is more for me to learn, more layers to be peeled back as I travel towards my center.
As we transition through life, we evolve, as long as we are willing to do the work. Although our main essence remains the same, we work out the kinks with each passing season. Clarifying the details and continuously improving upon the current version of ourselves until we’ve come back to HER.
Open your arms, A happier and wiser you is waiting to come home.
Have you come home?