How to Find Balance Living Abroad
I know how easy it is to lose a sense of balance and peace after relocation. My experience was without kids in tow so I could only imagine what it’s like for those expat moms out there who not only need to find their own sense of balance and peace but also emotionally support their children as well. This can be a hard task, especially if you’re living in a country where you don’t know the language.
I trust that most parents do their due diligence and research the community in which they are transitioning and find out more about the social culture around schools, education and healthcare standards, etc… Parents are more apt to doing the homework necessary where their kids are concerned in turn serving themselves along the way.
I believe this is different for the single expats. We’re not so inclined to look into much of those aspects of living abroad and may be more concerned about work, making the move itself and if you’re an expat wife, perhaps just going by what the spouse’s itinerary is covering. No one really has any idea of what the emotional and/or mental challenges might be once the transition is made and things are settled.
For me it was quite challenging, going from having my own small holistic business and community to whom I leaned on for support and guidance to settling in a new country and supporting my fiancé at the time on his career path. SO many negative feelings and thoughts consumed me shortly followed our transition and it wasn’t pretty.
I understand all about the co-dependency factor and having to rely on your partner financially, the shame, the guilt and the resentment can start to show itself and it’s difficult to know how to move past it all. Especially as you see your partner excited and motivated on their new journey and interacting with colleagues and making new friends. I remember feeling so jealous!
You might be saying, “OMG, that’s totally me right now! But HOW do I get out from it?”
This, my friend, is totally up to you. However, first you need to acknowledge and understand WHY you’re having these feelings. Okay, of course it’s because you’ve just moved away from your family and friends, you’ve left your work behind and all that supported your amazing life and now you’re partner is still living their best life despite the relocation, so what happened for you?
It can get a little deep and complex where the mind can take over, but ultimately (and I’ll try and make this as clear as possible) …we are first inclined to make up stories around any situation or person that enables us to lose touch within ourselves and our own truth. BOOM!
I get it, it’s not easy to face yourself and say, “Okay, I have a drinking problem” or “I have to stop blaming everyone and everything else around me”, “I have to stop placing judgment and take responsibility for myself” It’s never easy to claim your faults and/or weaknesses but that’s really where it has to begin. Otherwise, you’ll remain stuck in those beliefs and self-sabotage your entire life!
So have a good think about it:
Where do YOU need to change and how can you turn it around?
Finding balance in your new home takes a lot of patience and compassion, for everyone involved. Giving yourself the time to explore your own responsibilities and assimilate into your new community is just as important as owning them.
Here are some ways to give yourself some clarity and reassurance in finding your balance;
Talk to your spouse! Clear, effective and 'kind' communication is imperative. What kind of support do you need from them? How can they help you that would make a difference? What do you need from them? If you're not a good communicator, you might want to seek some guidance to support you on that
Journal your thoughts. Writing down your feelings, thoughts, etc... can help you to determine the real causes and underlying fears giving you the chance to re-examine your true intentions
Google! Reach out for articles, groups and online community for expat wives. Ask questions and gain support virtually. There's nothing like the power of community and making new friends who understand your position and pains
You definitely have the power to do the work and once you do you'll feel so much better about facing your challenges and get through them with more ease and peace. Balance is always off balance if that makes sense. We'll always be faced with uncertainty and strife throughout life. It's the constant inner work and lessons that keep us strong and show us how to be better people.
Stay well my friends!