I look at the below picture and it makes me laugh because I really look like I have it together. I appear to be balancing the babies in my arms effortlessly and with grace but only because Josh caught it right as I nearly dropped the baby on her head.
I have people tell me all the time that they admire how I am balancing everything (motherhood, self-care, career, my relationship) and how candid I am about my journey, to which I think the following:
They think I’m balancing all of this?!?
So, I’m going to get real here. Together and balance are not in my vocabulary these days. And the older I get, I realize what illusion “balance” really is.
Right now, most of my days are pretty chaotic despite my ego’s desperate attempts to find structure and order. Sometimes, there are beautiful, near perfect days and I am able to revel in the abundance I have in my life, how lucky I am, how wonderfully everything has turned out. On most days, my emotions feel like choppy waves on the ocean. On a tough day, like a tsunami (of both positive and negative emotion). Motherhood is more beautiful than my wildest imagination could have created. It is more difficult and challenging than I could have dreamed up. Somedays I seriously wish I could hide in the closet for a few hours.
These kiddos need me though and they are teaching me big time. More than anything, I am absolutely forced to stay in the present moment, and the present moment is emotionally, mentally and physically messy.
But I know do know this. I am aligned with love. I am aligned with what I am here to do and the roles I am meant to play. I trust that I am supposed to be in this season of life. I am in the arena of my dreams and life is stretching me and growing me and taking me for a wild ride. I am able to love deeper and think higher because of this sacred chaos.
I am learning I am SO much less evolved than I thought I was. Like “whoa.”
I am learning that love can be messy and shitty and requires you to get crap all over you, literally and metaphorically.
I am learning to continue to align with love in my daily practice through breath and intention (sometimes seemingly a hundred times a day).
I am learning more about how to be of service in this world through my own struggle.
I am learning I am conditioned. I am reactive. I still have wounds that are unhealed. I have been asleep for the reality of the world for a long time. I have been complacent.
I am learning how much I love control. (I thought I was pretty laid back).
I am learning all of this is OKAY and beautiful and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
I am learning my heart is SO much bigger and goes so much deeper than I knew.
The truth is every single person reading this is struggling in some way, even if they seem to have it together. And that illusion is what keeps us all separated. Because if someone else has figured it out, there must be something wrong with us.
Everyone is trying to find some semblance of certainty and control over this staggeringly beautiful and also gut-wrenching existence.
They want to feel seen, like they matter. They want to feel safe from danger, sickness, and death. They want to protect themselves from loss. They want to ease the discomfort of being a human being. Everyone is numbing. Everyone is defaulting to fear many, many times a day. Everyone yearns to be more together than they are and prove to the outside world that they are enough. Everyone wants to feel successful and feels like they are falling short in some way. Everyone is trying to figure out the next weeks, months years. Everyone is afraid they will fail at their dreams or fall from the status they have achieved. Everyone wants love. Everyone wants to be a part of something and feels a little left out. Everyone wants to be accepted and approved of and acknowledged.
As you read this, know you are so not alone.
I’m not together and it’s a relief to stop pretending.
Today, if you keep your eyes open, you will experience joy, the deep twang of empathy, irritation, frustration, beauty, connection, unity, separation, sadness, maybe even grief.
If I could go back and tell myself from 10 years ago one thing it would be this.
What you are afraid will happen won’t happen. It’s the things you don’t think of that will seize your heart. Your life will come together. Of course, it will. You will experience “success.” You will own a beautiful home, have beautiful children, get married. Your fears will not come to fruition.
However, new questions, fears, and challenges will arise that you don’t see coming. That is part of this crazy life you signed up for.
You will experience things that hadn’t even come into your fear-based mind (but scare the crap out of you). Life STILL won’t be certain love, even when you have accrued all of it. You will still experience confusion and fear and stress. New challenges will take the place of the old. New fears will replace your old fears. You will still be alive and seeking to understand.
And this…nothing is ever all good or all bad. They are always inextricably linked.
I would tell her to enjoy the ride, to slow down, to seek to understand herself, to accept this human experience as it is and to trust in the flow of it all. As time passes, you will romanticize it anyway. You will only really remember the fun times and the interminable anxiety will be a blip on the radar. Stop putting your body through the ringer for nothing.
I would tell her to relish in the uncertainty, learn to fall in love with it.
Despite this picture, despite what people may be showing you on social media, they are not together.
We are all in the “not together” together.
Be real about things. Resist the urge to plaster on a smile in a selfie. Be honest about the struggle and the celebrations equally. Give others the permission to be real. Let someone know you see them. Help them to feel loved. Feel your feelings for ten seconds longer before reaching for the remote, or the wine or the chocolate to take the edge off. To the best of your ability, get comfortable with the chaos.
Rock On & Be Well,