Since my mother passed away, I haven’t really felt much like myself. When I discussed this with my therapist, she stated it’s not unusual for a child who has lost her mother to feel that loss in her identity. It makes sense. The woman who has been with me since my conception is no longer here. And she was always here. When our relationship was going through a rough patch, my mom was here. If our relationship was in a good space, my mom was here. Through the good and the difficult, she was always here, helping me create that frequency hum that is unique between a mother and a daughter. Now, it’s as if I’m sending my message on our specific channel only to have it boomerang back to me, unanswered.
It doesn’t leave me dysfunctional. I managed to finish two major school assignments with flying colors and apply to a couple of MSW (Masters in Social Work) programs. I’m looking after two homes. I make dinner, go grocery shopping, and do the laundry. The usual chores. But with the loss of identity has come a loss of my faith in myself. In some ways, that makes it hard to function in the usual way on a soul level.
There’s not a lot of drama around this; just a quiet realization that when my identity packed its bags, the faith I have always had in myself hitched a ride. If I were to be completely honest, I’d have to say, this process started before my mother passed away. Her death just made it impossible for me to ignore it any longer.
You’d think after all I’ve accomplished in the last little while, especially graduating from college, my faith in myself would be at an all-time high. But what I’m beginning to understand is that faith in oneself has nothing to do with accomplishments, other people, or outside accolades.
I’m also learning that losing faith in oneself is not synonymous with losing faith in God. In fact, as I’ve come across this loss of faith in self, what I’m beginning to discover is a deeper sense of faith in God. I believe this can only lead me to greater spiritual growth.
Dr. Martin Israel states, “The theme of spiritual growth is one of withdrawal [from the surface of this world] followed by return.”
I recognize this pattern. When I have suffered great loss, I withdrew only to return, changed in ways I felt deepened my understanding of myself and others. This pattern is a big part of my personal spiritual growth. I also appreciated Dr. Israel’s quote because someone else understood my desire to pull back and leave the “surface of the world” for a while now that my mom has passed away.
Not all of me is in agreement with this desire. There’s the little piece of me I call the sergeant-major fighting for a different approach and telling me to slap a smile on my face and get out there! I need to quit being so silly and such a wimp. After all, there is so much to DO! But I’ve given myself permission to tell my sergeant-major it’s time to surrender to my present, and maybe even some past grief, along with the need to just BE. (Even as I write this, the sergeant-major is screaming in my ear.)
I’m not sure what any of this means, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. After all, it’s these journeys to places beyond the “surface of this world” that can offer the greatest growth. Besides, since my identity and faith-in-self have packed my bags, I guess my seat is already reserved.
With that said, I won’t be publishing on “Waters of Peace” for a while. I think I’ll continue to write—journal entries, mostly. I suspect I’ll be back to blogging, some day but in the meantime, we’ll just see what happens.
Thank you—for your continued reading and support of every endeavor I undertake.