and then a space of surrender, of being, just being,
And the reflections here are just temporary,
so take them in and honor them,
and be honest with them, and own them…
but then forgive them, and don’t stay in them
let it all go… let yourself bloom”
I haven’t been here in a while. No excuses, I tend to write when I feel called to- when I have something to say.
Two weeks ago, someone tried to enter my home. An intruder was tapping and leaning on our door, uninvited. I do not know the reason or the person. Miles did not know, he was tucked safely in bed with his mama’s eyes on him the entire time.
I, on the other hand, experienced it all. The scratching and tapping. The creeks of the screen door and the quiet knocks. The face pressed close to the main door, listening to see if I was awake.
I am strong. I am resilient. I have been through a lot in my life, haven’t we all?
But this? An intruder in my home? It broke me. It took my sense of home, my safety. Even though the apartment kept me and my baby safe, I could no longer live there. In the beautiful space that saved me. That held me while I lived alone for the first time with my baby. The police responded quickly, my partner arrived shortly after, to keep us safe.
Even so, for the past few weeks, I have struggled. Living with family and friends, moving from place to place. Sorting through leases and apartment searches, all while maintaining my job and normalcy for my little one.
I reached a breaking point. A mental state I knew was not sustainable. Not okay. But then, I returned to my foundations, to myself.
Life..is not easy. For any of us. It breaks and bends. It moves and ruptures. It branches and creeks and grows and groans. The only thing constant is change.
So, I returned to my habits, to my healing. I reached out to the people that love me. I told them I was not okay- they came through in droves. They had me for dinner, they offered their homes for us to stay, weekends away, love and kisses and hugs in spades.
I returned to meditation, to my gratitude journal, to moving my body, to staying in the moment and taking things day by day. Am I safe? Yes. Am I loved? Yes. Are my baby and I healthy? Yes. That is more than so many have,
I am grateful. For the people that love me, for the safety and health of myself and my baby, for a job that provides resources and flexibility, for another chance to be humbled, to surrender, to know that I am only co-creating this life of mine.
Miles and I will be living somewhere new, somewhere safe, somewhere to rest and renew.
I will surrender to the timing of it all. To the nights that are hard, to the fact that I am only human.
And then I will rise the next day, alive and well and so grateful for another chance at this life.
I am learning the art of surrender. Finding the courage to let go.
Things that have helped:
This app, turns your phone into a walkie talkie, to talk to the people you love even when you’re busy
“if they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more.” taylor swift
My worth used to come from being loved. How many people could I convince to love me? How deeply and madly could I make a boy love me? How could I change and contort to fit their needs? How small and agreeable could I be in order to win their affection? How many times could I make them say, “You’re too good/perfect/wonderful.”
Then I would break. The perfect venire would crack and my true, weird, strong, loud, funny, imperfect self would emerge. And they would be confused. Left wondering where that perfect, quiet little doll had gone. The ideal mold the world had stuffed me into, the one it stuffs all girls and women into, quietly suffocated me until my lungs burst.
Then would come the burning. I had been containing my fire for so long, quietly burning, that when it came out it spit and smoked. It rushed like fire from a dragon. Wasn’t that who those knights were always trying to slay? The dragon that went away to an abandoned castle for peace and rest and quiet, the dragon trying so desperately to escape a world that didn’t understand her, to live as her true self- that is far too scary a thought for those knights.
I would breathe fire as criticism. As faults of theirs. “Too mean, unattentive, boring, passive, weak, cruel, not enough.” And then I would push and push and push, hoping they would end it. End my torture, the fire I had kept contained still burning me up. How could I end it? How could I break up with this boy that had loved me so? That had fallen in love with my imposter.
They never ended it. And so I would move on, see who else was on the horizon. Who else could I introduce the perfect bubbly mold to, to escape the boy that had truly seen me, and then I would jump effortlessly from that boy to the next, leaving burned ruins in my wake.
Then I became a mama.
I grew and birthed the most beautiful little boy. My insides moved and shifted to make room for him. My body stretched and grew, and morphed just for him. He let the fire out. Carrying and creating him, bringing him earthside, broke the mold. It shattered the mold into so many pieces it couldn’t be repaired. I was free.
Becoming a mama to my sweet boy saved me. It showed me my power and my true self. It showed me that women are warriors and dragons and witches and healers and fucking powerful.
I spent my whole life coming back to myself. Coming back to the kind, strong, opinionated, happy, wild woman my parents raised. You are not beholden to the lies the world tells you. You are not meant to be small and perfect and agreeable.
You are meant to be you. In all forms. In all your weird and wonderful attributes. You are meant to love yourself. To know yourself. You are not made of the love that people give to you. You are worthy and whole just as you are. Not for the roles and titles you have. Not for the compliments and pats on the head that others give you. You are enough, just as you are.
Embrace all that is you, my love.
Whatever it is that makes you weird or “too much” is probably the most wonderful thing about you. And the opinion that others have of you? It’s not a mirror. Good or bad, that external validation or condemnation has nothing to do with you.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting
Your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
For love, for your dream,
For the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain,
Mine or your own,
To hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy,
Mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
Without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your own life
From its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure,
Yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone,
And do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
In the center of the fire with me
And not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
From the inside
When all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments.
Grief is a cycle. Self-discovery is a process. Growth takes time. All things have seasons, including you. This past month has been a season of hibernation. My body wanted to sleep and shut down. The heat and the constant busy of life felt overwhelming.
But then, a break in the storm. Miles’ laugh and the flutter of his eyelashes, the raise of his eyebrows. His warm hug and flushed cheeks. His little legs running to me, arms outstretched, calling, “Mama!”
A visit from two beautiful friends. Friends that love me and see me and are strong and kind, they will not let me believe the lies I tell myself. They know I am worthy, I am strong, they know my heart better than anyone. So do I.
A reminder that work has a purpose. All people and experiences are lessons. What you meet in another being is the projection of your own level of evolution. Ram Das.
You are worth finding. You are worth knowing, worth loving. You and all of your mess and growth and regression and joy. You and all of your layers.
What makes us who we are? What makes up the light and core of our being? What stays stable and constant when all else falls away?
Life is not easy for any of us. If you are waiting for things to right themselves, to be perfect or blissfully happy in order for you to better yourself or change your life, my dear you will be waiting a long time.
Because as cliche as it sounds, life is the journey- not the destination.
I recently created an Instagram story, asking for any questions you had for me. One question kept appearing in different forms. My favorite form it took was this, “How the fuck are you so happy?”
Variations of this question repeated over and over. How are you okay? How did you transition mentally into a new space? How are you adjusting to your new life? If I were you, I suppose I would wonder this too.
Being left by the person you’ve promised your heart and life to does strange things to you. It shatters your sense of self, hits your ego, breaks your heart. It feels like being kicked repeatedly when you’re already down. I want to be very clear, I was not always in this beautiful place. And I still have a long way to go, but that is life.
I did not know it at the time of my separation, when my husband told me he no longer loved me and then moved on emotionally and physically to another life- that I was already half dead. I had bent and morphed and folded myself into someone unrecognizable. I gave up values, dreams, a healthy sex life, love languages, hopes, daily self-care, well-being, and more to try to become the person he would accept. I lost myself completely. I did this to myself willingly, no one made me do this. A pattern so many women repeat because we are told to make ourselves small and flexible and perfect and perky and perfect to please men. To please the world.
I vacillated wildly between strong, value-driven, unshakeable me and a quiet, weeping, desperate shadow. I was giving up who I was in order to be loved and admired. I broke my own heart.
You can’t fold and bend your way into real love and admiration. You have to show up fully and authentically and messily in order to find it. And guess what? When you finally show up, some people aren’t going to like it. And when you go through something big that makes the real, authentic you show up in an unshakeable way? The person who doesn’t like it may be your husband.
It may be your best friend, your sister, your aunt, your coworker. There will be an endless barrage of people that tell you to stop, tell you to quit, tell you your dreams are too big, that you’ve become too loud, too emotional, too much.
You were not made to be small. You were not formed from love and stardust and light only to give up or in when life gets hard.
Babe, someone else doesn’t get to tell you who you can be. And if you need a cheerleader along the way? Find them. Find people that feel like sunshine and love and fresh air and stay close to them. Better yet? Become your own cheerleader. Wake up so damn excited about your dreams and goals and life that when those naysayers knock on your door or enter your heart- it doesn’t matter.
Be so in love with yourself and your life that you can’t even hear them. And the ones that really try to hurt and hold you back? Let them go.
“I refuse to live as half of myself because other people can’t handle all of me,” Rachel Hollis