After that pivotal moment in my life when I realised that I was in an abusive relationship and I wanted out, it became clear to me that I would need to dig deep if I was going to change the pattern of my life.
I was a good person – but good wasn’t good enough for me. My good allowed me to put the needs of others before my own and my abusive marriage showed me just how dangerous this could be.
It was time to redefine for myself what it meant to be good and this time it would be redefined from the inside out. I would be good to myself.
What did it mean to start being good to myself? It meant digging beneath all those emotions and values that were relative to other people and taking another look at what truly inspired me about living life.
What was it about living life that made me emotional? What gave me a sense of fulfilment? If I could name these things, then I could find a sense of direction that would be meaningful to me. I needed to rediscover my personal “why”. Why do I do what I do? What am I most passionate about.
Despite all the difficult emotions and thoughts going on inside me during my relationship with my ex, my inner voice got louder and louder until it was all that I heard. You can’t keep living like this and at the same time inspire other women to change their lives and live their truth. You need to lead by example.
That was the main reason as to why I left, second to the fact that I had been seriously injured. Not that I was leading anyone per se but if I was going to speak about living your truth, I had to live my own and at the expense of everything else – including what was easy or what was comfortable.
As I shifted into my life with all its newness and differences, I started to become hyper-aware of the way in which people cling to comfort as a way of forgetting themselves. I didn’t want to forget. I wanted to remember and to reignite my love for life and for living.
Last night after I finished reading “Finding Your Why” by Simon Sinek, I spent a long time thinking about my “why”. I tried to write it out but nothing I said went deep enough to resonate with what I felt was my “why” – my purpose for doing anything that I do.
I decided that I would break up my “why” according to the roles that I play in my life.
My “why” of being a teacher and a friend is to inspire others to believe in themselves and to trust who they are to be able to make the changes they seek to live a more meaningful life.
My “why” as a writer is based more on self-fulfilment – I write to fulfil the need in me for self-discovery and self-transformation, deepening my relationship with myself.
I can combine and rewrite both these “whys” into one statement – my why is to encourage self-discovery and self-transformation by inspiring others to engage deeply with their life and create meaning for themselves.
This is the “why” I want to live and I will leave it at that.
According to Simon Sinek, your “why” is what fulfils you. It goes beyond what makes you happy and it changes as you grow and refine your work. It is based on the contributions you make to the lives of others and what impact it has on them. It’s relevant both in your personal and professional life and resonates with who you are wherever you are.
If you have figured out your “why”, I would love to know what it is.