Who are you now? (or how I re-discovered myself by way of butterflies, lights and snow)

As a childless woman one of your greatest challenges is to work out who you are and how you fit into society.

I always wanted to be a mother and when that came crashing down with a bang I had no idea who I was. At my core I was always me but with everything I’d been through I lost the plot (in more ways than one) and in the process I forgot who ‘me’ was.

Does that sound familiar?

First a butterfly

logobutterfly-webready-whiteIf you think about it, when a caterpillar is born its DNA knows what sort of butterfly it will be. I believe that’s how motherhood is.

For a time I felt like I went into the cocoon then the instructions got lost so I didn’t know what sort of butterfly I wanted to be.

A close friend said recently that she’s always been the ‘real’ her, it’s just that she lost who she was for a while because of what she went through and how she felt, and now she’s come back to who she is really.

It’s great that she knows what sort of butterfly she is; maybe you know or perhaps you’re still in the cocoon and you’d like help to find your way out.

So how do you re-discover who you are?

Like my friend said, you’ve lost yourself momentarily so you need to re-connect with who you were before. One of the ways clients on my programme Let Go and Move On: Six Steps to Finding Fulfilment after Childlessness do this is to go back to a time when they were real and authentic and ask a few questions.

Here’s how.Grand canyon

Find a picture of yourself that conveys a real sense of who you are, your authentic or real self, one which encapsulates the essence of you, everything about you that is true and real. It could from your childhood, or one you took last week or you could use an image from a magazine or draw one.

Allow yourself plenty of time to find the right image, maybe shortlist two or three which capture the parts of you that you love and have forgotten about.

I thought that going back to just before had IVF would be the right time for me, however in the end I chose three images, two from my childhood and one from 2011.

Here’s the light

Now, looking at the authentic you in the photo take some time to answer these questions:

1. What do I see when I look at her?

2. What do I love and appreciate about her?

3. What makes her light shine/what does she really love doing?

4. What advice would she give me?

5. Now, knowing all of these things what can I do to bring more of her into my life now?

6. And how can I remind myself to be authentic (what words can I say to myself to remind me)?

What I discovered (here’s the snow)

authentic me 2This exercise was powerful for me (and, if I’m completely honest a bit emotional). Doing it a couple of times with different photos was really helpful as this brought out common themes, some of which are:

My light shines when I’m absorbed and living in the moment, having fun, pushing myself to achieve or to do something outside my comfort zone and when I spend time with those I love and who care about me. She’s telling me in a very loud and clear voice not to take myself too seriously and to make sure I have fun.

authentic meHaving one of the pictures on my vision board is a daily reminder of her and saying ‘Be Brave, Be True, Be Present’ to myself brings her back.

Supporting clients to get out of their cocoon and to discover their unique beautiful butterfly is part of my revised programme Let Go and Move On: Six Steps to Finding Fulfilment after Childlessness

Now over to you

Do you know what sort of butterfly you are and if so how did you find out? As ever sharing your thoughts will help others to learn from your experiences.

2 thoughts on “Who are you now? (or how I re-discovered myself by way of butterflies, lights and snow)”

  1. I am a butterfly who likes to sample all different types of flowers depending on my mood…and that however I am feeling…that’s okay… I have very colourful wings with complicated patterns and I stayed in a cocoon for a very long time…..my whole life, in fact, and it is only in last two years I have connected with who I am…. 😉
    Lisa McLoughlin recently posted…Connect with my Clients: Melanie MackieMy Profile

  2. Thanks Lisa, I love the idea of sampling different flowers dependent on your mood, sounds great!
    And also thanks for the butterfly illustrations, I feel that they really bring the everything to life.
    Lesley x


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