I’ve always heard the term 'ego death' and thought, oh haven’t I gone through that? While I’ve changed careers, moved to new states and new cities, and undergone many outward transformations, my ego, or the lens through which I’ve experienced my life, has remained the same for a long time... until this year.
I don’t know what normally happens when people experience an ego death, but this year when my anxiety and depression symptoms were running rampant, it was like my lenses fell off my face, shattered on the ground, and the tiny particles were blown away to an abyss. With no new lenses to replace them with, I couldn’t see myself or have any inkling on how to move forward.
Who am I? I am surely not this corporate baddie I’d convinced myself that I was. My perception of who I was was so heavily influenced by my job, the path I had followed, and the role I’d been playing that the lines completely blurred to the point where I completely lost myself. Everything I was doing was out of fear, out of obligation to the rules and social norms placed by society, as well as some programming and conditioning from my upbringing and life experiences… but, none of that was me. I’ve always despised cardio, yet I was participating in 3-4 kickboxing classes a week so that I would burn enough calories to not feel anxious about gaining weight. I’ve always yearned for a vocation where I could help people or be providing a service to the universe in some way, yet I found myself caught up in the rat race of corporate America. I have always loved, and I mean LOVED, dressing up, wearing makeup, and pulling looks together, but thanks to working from home and the pandemic, I got in the habit of staying in comfy clothes with no hair and makeup nearly every day—because why bother when the only time you leave your house is to walk your dog?
Holy shit. Like the Saba that I was had completely dissolved. I know that there were environmental factors that didn’t help (the COVID pandemic, needing income to pay the bills, etc.), but I was really living to work and not working to live. As I’ve been recovering from the anxiety, I’ve been grieving a little bit. Losing yourself is not easy and when you awaken from a comatose like that, it's like you go through a bit of a shock. You’re left with an empty shell and you have to re-learn how to fill yourself up again. Except, rather than fill up with fearful actions, or programmed beliefs, this time I want to fill up with authenticity… intuition… and love.
I’m still in the process of learning who I am, which basically is trying to connect with my inner child. As children we are authentically who we are, before the world and life tornadoes through us causing chaos and destruction. When we go through trauma, we build walls of protection. When we go through failure, we lose faith and block our access to our dreams. When we go through loss, our bright light turns into cynicism. The result that we’re left with is layers upon layers of walls, all to protect the heartbroken child inside.
My layers have come off, but the little girl inside is scared. She wants the layers to come back because they make her feel safe. But, I want to show her that we can be safe in a different way. In a way that allows us to be open, to be vulnerable. We have to break down the walls in order to discover where we are meant to go.