When you have neglected yourself for a long time a useful exercise to get back in touch with your heart’s desire is to ask yourself “What would I do if no-one else mattered?”
When you are deep in an abusive relationship you lose sight of yourself completely. You might only understand yourself from the perspective of the abuser because you have been trained to fear and anticipate what they might do next. If you have been trained this way since childhood then it is especially difficult. The people around you may have always been so demanding, self-centred and inconsistent that you were trained to think only of them.
Well it’s time for that to change! A useful exercise is to write down what you would do for you if no-one else mattered. When you start writing you imagine that you are free from needing to consider your partner, your family, your work situation and economic situation and so on and fantasise about how that would look. What is important to you? What would make you happy? Where would you live? What kind of family and friends would you have? What kind of job? and so on…
This exercise was a revelation when I tried it. I realised I had never really allowed myself to hope for or want anything for myself. I had been so wrapped up in abusive relationships and focused on appeasing others that I had just lost sight of what I wanted for me.
Try it and see how closely what you come up with resembles your current life. Is there anything you can do to change how things are? Even if the picture you come up with is very far from the reality of your life, it is still good to get in touch with what you truly desire so that you will be more aware as you make choices as to whether you are moving towards or away from your dreams.