We let others see what we want them to see, and not what’s behind our shields.
I love finding a vantage point at a street cafe and watching the world go by as I enjoy a cappuccino or sip a glass of wine. I often find myself in conversation with people on an adjoining table, but sometimes my mind wanders and I play out what other people are doing in their lives and why they are here at this moment in time.
Have you ever looked at someone and thought wow, they just have it ‘all’?
I was sat in a cafe with a lady who I knew was French before we spoke, She was so chique – her dress sense so elegant with an air of style that French women do so well without being extravagant. Mon amie was a surgeon who was travelling for work, with two small children and an unhappy marriage to go home to. Outwardly she appeared to have it all – to be living the dream with her family and developing a world class career. She had a beautiful home, and a stylish social life, but inside, she had this void – this longing for something which seemed so unattainable. When the man she was meeting arrived, there was something about their demeanor that pointed to this being a possible indiscretion.
Strangers often tell me the most outrageously personal things, which is why I knew so much about her during the brief time we had spent together. I was intrigued. I had found myself feeling incredibly frumpy; I was comparing my outfit to hers, and wondering what I could learn from her sense of style, her charisma and poise.
Somehow being in the presence of this woman for a short while had shown me a glimpse of her power, and how much love she felt for her children, but she spoke about how completely empty she felt inside.
The daily demands of her career, literally holding life and death in her hands, coupled with the guilt she felt following her passion whilst having someone else looking after her children, all combined to make her feel inadequate as a parent. When she arrived home after work she felt so drained that it was an effort to function as a mother, let alone a wife. Giving to everyone else had left her running on ’empty’. Her husband was focused on his career, and there were lavish dinners and entertaining, yet rarely did they spend any time together as a family. She could feel herself withdrawing from him, and feeling resentful of his ability to socialise and having this air of camaraderie with his colleagues, whilst she just felt numb.
She spoke of feeling like a robot, responding to requests from everyone around her. She didn’t feel that she had time to socialise with her friends. Perhaps that is why she had opened up to me as she did.
Increasingly, I find myself working with women who feel just as my brief french friend did. They come with an ‘I have lost myself’ feeling, with a disconnect from the world around them. They have given so much to everyone else, that they are running on empty. Maybe it’s because I can recognise how I felt about myself a few years ago, before I discovered how I can help myself and others.
I am being drawn to set up a group programme that includes one to one personal coaching, alongside working with the beautiful and steadfast connection of our horses, and a series of online group work, where together we can re-discover who the ‘real me’ truly is. To connect to her, learn to nurture her needs, and map out how the future could look and feel like.
If you recognise yourself as someone, who to the outside world looks as if everything is perfect, but you truly know differently, then let’s schedule a discovery call, and see if this could be just what you need.