Being human

Reconnect with myself

There were many times where I felt like I had lost myself in the process of living my life. Sometimes, I even thought that this activity should not be called as ‘living’, but ‘surviving’. My life is already so much better than what I used to imagine, and I am grateful for it, but honestly this is not the life that I’ve wanted. To me, this is more about surviving and thriving rather than fully immersing myself in this life, living my one and only life.

After years of looking out and trying to find the way to feel alive again, in my own life, I realise something. Those self-help books, podcasts, blogs, whatever they are, they helped me to have one summary, which is to be mindful in doing anything. By being mindful, I let my mind and feelings be included in the process of doing the activity, which could help me to get a sense of connection with myself, in a deeper way.

But how exactly do I do it? Below are some things I did to ensure I could reconnect with myself whenever I feel lost or purposeless:

1. Read book

This seems like very cliche but trust me when I say this is one of my ways to reconnect with myself. If I usually read self-improvement books, in the times where I feel lost and purposeless, I let myself read either poem or fiction. To me, it helped me connect more with my feelings. I feel anything deeply, but when I am lost, I cannot even feel what I’m actually feeling at the moment. Hence, reading poems or fiction that intrigues my feelings can help me reconnect with myself. My go-to for fiction is the romance genre, can be rom-com or just romance, while for poems I often read the easy-to-digest kind of poem. I’m not a very intelligent person who can digest classic or literature books easily, therefore I only read the easy ones as long as it could flick my heart and feelings.

By reading, I can sometimes remember that life is not always about thinking, but also about feeling. In the process of surviving this life, I more often than not use only my mind, and put aside my feelings. I stop myself from being empathetic, I don’t have fun, I prevent myself from fully living and relax a bit, thinking that it could lead to a better life, and prevent me from failure, while in fact it doesn’t. Reading helps me to slow down for a moment.

2. Journaling

Some people call it a diary, some people call it journaling. Whatever it is called, I just write whatever thoughts or feelings I have at the moment, even when prior to writing it down I think or feel nothing. Usually after I write the first or second sentence, the other sentences just flow out of me, and I like it. It feels like it is not the conscious me who wrote it. Though I am aware that I am writing a journal, the words that come out of me are coming from the unconscious me, the unconsciousness. Journaling helps lighten up my burden. No matter what form it is when I finish writing, either pages full of complaints, or anxiousness, or just random thoughts, or affirmation and manifestation, I feel like I just throw away a lot of things and it makes myself feel clear, feel like I have more clarity.

I don’t exactly know how others do their diary/journal, but I like to do it by handwriting. It just calms me down, and handwriting also helps me to be more mindful about what I’ll write because it can’t be easily deleted like how we do with typing. It makes me aware that time is not ticking faster just like what I’ve always thought. In fact, it ticks in the same pace as before, and I have just the same amount of time as I had, and as what other people have. It calms my nerves more than I thought, and it helps me connect with my thoughts and feelings, because I can kinda sort it out in some order compared to just letting it rant in my head or heart without any clarity or order.

3. Talking with relatives

For people who know me, and for as long as I know myself, I have always known that I don’t really fancy hanging out with people. I prefer alone, solitude, me-time where I could do whatever I want without asking for permissions. I also could recharge myself in silence and peacefulness without sounds from anyone. That’s how I have always thought of myself, until recently I had an encounter with someone and it changed the way I think. From him, I learned that it’s not about being alone or with people, but it is about who I am with. I can be with a monk, pastor, psychologist, literally anyone, whether on one-on-one meeting or along with some other people, however if I don’t feel aligned in values and feelings with them, if we are not similar in frequency, if the people being with me is not having what I seek in them, then our meeting would resulted in nothing. But, if I am with a friend without any degree in psychology, or with a cleaning service down the street, but we are in the similar frequency, the other person I’m being with can empathise with me, and I see values in them that are aligned with mine, then our conversation will helps me feel better about life and anything in general. It might not solve the problem especially if I’m not sharing about the problem with the person, but it can help me to feel that I am not alone, that there are many kind people in this world.

What I am trying to say here is that it is not about the amount of people, and not about the background of that person. It is about the feelings. How do I feel with that person? If I feel good talking with them, then talking about anything, will help flourish any feelings inside me. Happy, funny, and empathy. Anything. And just like any feelings inside us, it could help increase the aliveness of us, which can help get rid of the numbness and feel better in general.

4. Play games

Don’t judge me, but I have always thought that people who like to play games are childish. That was my thought until I experienced it myself. It’s not that I have never played a game before. It’s just I never play for fun, randomly. I always planned when I could play games, and more often than how I like it, it is a very rare occasion. There was this moment when I was lost and numb and purposeless, and I decided to kill time by playing a game. It helps me feel better in general, because by playing games I don’t have to think hard, I’m using creativity and more of my right brain rather than left brain. This depends on what kind of games I play, of course, but usually slow and relaxing games like simulation games, or thrilling games like adventure or arcade games help me feel more of my feelings, hence they help me reconnect with myself, my inner child, my feelings. 

Until now, I still have thoughts that people who spend most of their time playing games are childish, in terms of they don’t have any other serious activity in life, but if done with discipline and occasionally, playing games is a good way to reconnect with myself.

5. Create something

For everything we consume or inlet, we always need to have an outlet or a way to manifest it outside of us. If not, then it will become foul inside us and let us feel the discomfort. For me, this sentence works like magic. Whenever I feel purposeless, numb, lost, feeling bad or negative about myself, I always try to create something no matter how small it is. I could write blog posts, post on Instagram, write journals as I mentioned above, draw, post my digital gallery on Tumblr, record video and edit and post it online… literally I can create anything I want to, just as an outlet for all kinds of things I have consumed in the past. The outlet does not have to be anything great or perfect since it is not for others but myself. 

I used to think that I need to wait on creating or producing something since I need it to be perfect, to be great, to be able to satisfy the audience who see my creation, but someone reminds me that only if I create something for myself and not for others, then it is able to connect with my feelings, and most likely connects with others as well, because I create it from my heart and not according to other’s. I like this analogy a lot because I can totally care for myself in a non-selfish way. As long as I don’t hurt or harm anyone in my creation, I can focus only on what or how I like it to be done, according to my feelings, my taste, my thoughts. It resonates a lot with me.

So, there are my ways to reconnect with myself whenever I feel lost or numb or purposeless. I like to change my way without any particular orders. However, I have my ultimate way if none of the above works, which is to meditate. By meditating, I let myself full with silence, solitariness, and let myself discover the inside of me, of what actually happens and how I’d like it to be. It helps to reconnect with myself on a deeper level, not just in the superficial way. 

I hope these ways can also help you if you are faced with feeling lost or numbness or purposeless. It may not gone overnight, but if done often, it can help to reduce the negative feelings and replace it with more positive feelings.

May all beings be happy!

-Aini-

Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

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