Missing Ourselves… A Piece of Our Puzzle

Dear Reader:

Haven’t we all experienced a time when we catch a glimpse of ourselves in a store front window or even the rear view mirror of our car… and for a moment don’t  recognize our own reflection?

It is a pretty sobering moment. Especially when we later have a minute to reflect on the incident and suddenly realize that it is not the physical reflection that threw us… but the missing “soulful” being within and beyond facial recognition.

What has happened to  the person we were supposed to be? Throughout our lives we play different roles….son, father, husband,  breadwinner, job identification, coach, grandfather…or daughter, mother, wife, breadwinner, job identification, teacher, and /or grandmother.

We have certainly been busy…but in our busyness somehow we lost our “forever selves”…the spirit of the person we were destined to be. We forgot to get off the main, crowded highway to  detour  the back roads of life…where living slows down long enough to find the real us underneath all the role-playing.

Psychologists  call this phenomenon a “displacement of self.” It usually occurs during times of great stress and we can certainly  concur 2020 provided enough stress for everyone to go around.

In her latest book Unresolved… Glennon Doyle has this quote that hit home to a lot of readers, including me.

*“If you are uncomfortable — in deep pain, angry, yearning, confused — you don’t have a problem, you have a life. Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.”

Consider the truth in Doyle’s quote…I did.

For example…I remember as a child, a student, a teacher, a wife and  mother…..thinking that if I just tried harder, whether in school or my job or relationships…that life would get easier because I had learned to perfect all the obstacles in each category of life.

But I was wrong…quite wrong. Life wasn’t designed to be perfect…it is in the daily challenges, set-backs, and losses that the most beautiful moments of our lives are resurrected and we start living the life of the person we were destined to be.

This other following quote from Doye’s book really made me stop in my tracks…

What scares me more than feeling it all, is missing it all.”

As scattered as our feelings are these days on so many pressing topics… we should still feel  fortunate to be a part of life…even with all the mixed feelings that accompany it…much preferable to no longer having any feelings left in us because our “forever self” has gone missing and we never started living the life we were meant to live.

So until tomorrow…

“We can do hard things.”

And even though we women prefer stopping to ask directions in lieu of continued wandering…(“counter-intuitive” to our male counterparts :)…we too must remember…

“This life is ours alone. So we should stop asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”  (We each have our own separate places to discover and finally call home.)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh


If we took time to create our own life map today…we would realize that certain daily incidents (that we never gave a second thought to while they were happening) were actually  map signs, being constantly created… pointing us in the right direction based on our individual interests, personality, and inner light.

As we age isn’t it easier, in hindsight, to recognize the destination benchmarks that turned us around and set us on new paths to find our “forever selves.” Now the question is…Did we follow these new paths or did we cave and follow the “herd” instead?

It’s never too late…your “forever you” still waits your arrival.

*Wanda is still weak and even just trying to eat throws her oxygen numbers off…so let’s keep those prayers coming.

*Also keep Suzy, Gin-g’s sister, in our continued prayers as she resumes with more tests to determine her individual plan for fighting her cancer. Thank you.

I am in the midst of starting to take Christmas down…(now that can be a real “downer”)… I am already starting to miss Santa’s Workshop...I am pretty tired after all the climbing and lugging…kinda like little Winnie! 🙂







About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to Missing Ourselves… A Piece of Our Puzzle

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    I needed to read these words today…thanks for mentioning Suzy. She gets her port this week…will start 4 to 6 months of chemo…followed by the Whipple surgery to remove her pancreas and possibly more chemo and radiation. This could change and she said she asked her drs if her predicted life expectancy of 2 yrs started after all this…they said No…it started from your diagnosis on Dec 19th. But it is in God’s timing…she feels good now…she has a great attitude and lots of people praying. Just wish Covid would go away so I could be more involved in her care. Thank you for continuing prayers.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      That is my prayer too….the importance of touch and having people close to you…physically touching you is really of utmost importance…Since I have experienced cancer treatments through a childhood friend recently… with her having to go it alone … compared to my journey with so many people and support around me… it has reminded me just how extremely lucky I was. If you can just get your vaccinations…it would certainly free up this obstacle between you and your beloved sister…however… right now just hearing your voice is comforting to Suzy beyond measure. Prayers, prayers, and more prayers Gin-g!


  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    Ging g, I am so sorry you cannot be with Suzy, but as Becky says, “Hearing your voice will help her.” She has been in my prayers at night since Becky told us. Just know I will be praying for God to give you strength, comfort and peace too. Becky, thank you for this inspirational message today. (Somehow, message is better than the word, blog, which I just don’t care for the way it sounds.) This entire message was so thought-provoking. I believe everyone who reads this today will be blessed by the part of it that speaks to her. Yes, sometimes my identity of mother, daughter, sister, wife, teacher, friend has often blurred “the me”. When I stop to really see me, I know that I am who I am because of all these people, and yes, even the hard times helped to define me. I, too, especially loved the quote: “What scares me more than feeling it all, is missing it all.” There is a gospel song that goes something like this: “I wouldn’t take anything for my journey here!” (If that seems a little off subject, I was just trying to find “me” in all this craziness today.)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Everyone who loves you Jo…and that is an awful lot of people 🙂 know you and see you for who you are…no matter which role you are living at the moment…at the core your love and compassion to one and all defines who you are in letters and lights bigger than Broadway! I love you to pieces…all the pieces of your beautiful puzzle!


  3. Beth says:

    Oh Becky! Strong, life affirming words….Thank you.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      No…thank YOU! You have given me foliage history in my garden, and always continued support through my daily “post” 🙂 I think our meeting and friendship was meant to be…don’t you? A God Wink for sure! Happy New Year dear friend!


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