Do you know what it feels like to lose yourself? It’s not what you might think. You don’t wake up one morning and not recognize the person staring back at you. It’s not this gradual slipping away from your old self where you know what is happening and just don’t stop it.

What does it look like to lose you? It sneaks up on you while you’re in the midst of the daily grind. You don’t notice it happening. But then you do. You notice. And you’re defeated. Deflated. Desperate.

So maybe it’s your husband. Maybe it’s your sister. In my case, it was both. A loved one pulls you aside and asks, “Are you ok?” followed by “You don’t seem like yourself.” Five words. Coming from a place of love and concern. But they crushed me. They broke me. I hadn’t even stopped to think, “Am I ok?” Of course I wasn’t. I was so caught up in just making sure everyone else was ok. How could I have not realized this?

I wear many titles. I’m first, a Christian. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a sister. I’m an aunt. I’m a daughter. I’m a daughter-in-law. I’m a survivor of grief. I’m a woman. I’m a little bit of something to everyone and a lot of everything to my boys and husband.

So who am I to me? What do I mean to myself?

You are worth it. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are capable. You are fierce. You have purpose. You have meaning. You have life. You gave life.

I consciously remind myself of these affirmations every single day. It is so easy to put other’s needs before my own that it has become second nature. What I’ve come to learn is that if I don’t spend time with just myself, I am not the best me for myself or my family. And they need me. They deserve the best me. I deserve the best me. So I’ve had to re-learn how to be me by myself. It feels selfish. It feels wrong. It feels like going against everything I know.

But guess what? I’ve tried being everything to everyone before being me to myself. It didn’t work. I was drowning in anger and resentment and I couldn’t figure out why. Who was this person and where did my old self go?

Luckily, I didn’t lose her. She was just misplaced. So I vow to continue to work at re-establishing that relationship and building a friendship with myself.

So friends, be easy with yourself. Take time for yourself. Know yourself. You’re worth knowing.

Jordan Pederson

A wife and mama embracing her imperfect happiness.