Losing is one thing. Losing yourself is an entirely different story. So many times as women we give, give, and give so much that we lose it all, including ourselves. The funny thing is, no one really asks us to lose ourselves. We impose that on ourselves. Most times the people in our life like us just the way we are. After all the way we are is what attracted them to us in the first place.
In my case, it just seemed that the more business, personal, social and spiritual hats I wore the more my custom-chameleon ensemble took over. It was heavy. It was hectic and it hurt. I could transform like nobody’s business! I would change how I dressed, my schedule, the lipstick and nail polish I wore, how I spoke, my hobbies, my friends, or whatever in order to “make it work”. I was a master of conformity, being who I needed to be for whoever I needed to be…except for me.
I’ve worn many a heavy hat in my day…wife, full-time godmother, employer, employee, daughter, teacher, sister, mentor, mentee, friend, preacher, leader, and the likes. I’ve also been guilty of allowing some of those hats to smother the me God made and often the “smotherization” was simultaneous.
God has a sense of humor. Obviously knowing I wasn’t going to “find myself” by myself, He allowed some of my heavy hats to be removed. Divorce, loss of a job, change in friends, and demotion from certain roles really hurt! In the midst of that pain I could hear Him say that He never told me to lose me in the midst of my relationships. (Let me be clear. The changes I was making would be perceived as “good” by many. I never did anything wild and crazy. The problem was they weren’t meant for me.) God made me, fearfully and wonderfully, I might add, so who I am and how He created me to be was just right for any role I played and regardless of how many hats I wore. Now don’t get me wrong. Change, growth and transition are good for anyone balancing any amount of hats. But making sure even those changes are led by God and not by our own often-disastrous design help them last.
Today, I try to spiritually and strategically decide which hats to wear and gingerly determine how to wear them making sure at the center of it all is the ME that God made.