You look worried. Is it the news? Politics? Finances? Lack of sleep? Toddlers? Kids? Teenagers? Your hips? Your belly? Your face? Sex? Marriage? Your job? Your choices? You?
You’re not alone.
I worry, too. I’m uncertain, too. I’m feeling risky and wrong, too. I’m feeling shaky and tired, too. I have days when I think, “How am I supposed to keep doing this like this.” I bump into perfectly coiffed people living aesthetically-pleasing lives, and I feel floppy, gross or poorly groomed. I am yelling on the playground next to a woman who is sure and comforting and in control, and I feel crabby, guilty and ashamed. I want to make the right choices and do the right things, but those things aren’t finite, even if the internet and your grandmother tell you they are.
There’s something happening on the internet and, while it isn’t new behavior, it is a new venue, and it’s tearing us down, mamas. Everyone is an authority on the best way to do our work, and this is coming from women and from men. There are entire websites devoted to instructing you and me on how to do our work, and while they all conflict on their message and strategy, they’re still read and they’re still validated. We aren’t victims, but we are being fed information as if we were. We must be very vigilant about the words we read and the stories we choose to believe, or we will find ourselves undermined and helpless. Powerless. Ashamed. All feelings that women have felt and suffered through for centuries, but now perhaps at our own hands. By our own choice.
Listen to me. No one knows how to do your work. Your work is yours, and you were born and built and made to do it in a way that no other person on earth is. Because your works is yours only, it doesn’t apply to anyone else. What has worked for you may not work for her. What has worked for her might not work for you. You are doing your work, I am doing mine, she is doing hers. You decide your success. You decide your worth. You decide.
People will carry on about the beauty and the miracle of their perfect and right choices, and oftentimes, they will be self-righteous more than they are right. Remember that sometimes when we are shaky, we hold on TOO TIGHT to our view of things to protect ourselves and assure ourselves that we are safer or more secure than we actually are.
Women, my brave, beautiful, bold women, we walk a tightrope in our culture. We must be just enough of everything, or we risk being not enough or too much of something. We’re almost destined for insecurity and disconnect from our truest selves. In our tender efforts to try to save ourselves from this cycle, we might retreat and feel shame, or we might cover ourselves in fancy things and arrogant assumptions, but we’re doing the same thing: We’re trying to figure out how to breathe. Be okay. Be enough. Stand tall. Sit down. Lie back. Feel things. Be able.
I worry, too. But, when I worry, I make myself stop. Some days, it takes me days to do this, but I am so stubborn and dead set on not giving into the cycle, that I do stop, eventually. And when I do, it’s right there-right in front of me. I DECIDE. No one else. I AM ENOUGH. Right here, right now.
Just like this. Just like that.
Unkempt, tired and unsure, but ENOUGH.
Be vigilant with me. Stay so close to the ground these days, and choose YOURSELF as your authority before and above and beyond anyone else. After all, mama, this is your work. These fears are your teachers. This body is your gift. This work is YOUR LIFE. And, you decide.
Unsubscribe, unplug and close those angry tabs. You have the answer. You are the person. So am I.
Let’s do this.