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No, this isn’t a blog about dodgy SatNav directions or wandering into a room and forgetting what you went in there for. I’ve noticed how many of us lose ourselves, our own identities, when trying to please others or make relationships work.

I married at the ripe old age of 40. When we moved from London to the Cotswolds, I stopped doing all the things which made me ME. I told myself that I was building a new life, in a new relationship, creating a future. I gave up my old single friends to make new couple friends as I thought this would be easier. I gave up some serious choral singing, justifying it with some nonsense about there not being a choir that was good enough locally. I gave up late nights out and dancing round my handbag at parties. I also gave up regular exercise classes and sporting activity as I wanted the time back to create the new home. And I facilitated the comfort feeding that both my husband and I wanted.

Surprise surprise, the marriage ended as the woman he originally fell in love with didn’t exist any more. It took a couple of years and some very good friends to pitch me into healing and putting back into my life the essence of ME.

Why do we do this? What’s so important about something or someone else that we give up on our own dreams and desires, and the activities which nourish our bodies and souls?

When I met someone new recently I noticed that I slipped into the ‘pleasing behaviour’ so quickly. My exercise and weight loss goals went out the window, and my focus was facing outwards rather than inwards. This time my other half was wise enough to question me about the behaviour and help me to stop it before it became too ingrained.

You see, I’m not perfect either.

Go and have a look in the mirror right now. What do you see? Are your dreams and desires staring back at you, or someone else’s? If you’ve lost the essence of YOU, then it’s time to ask for some help to rediscover it.

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