Lately I find myself having the same conversations with people, over, and over, and over. I love this. I feel like it’s this beautiful way that the world is telling me ‘yes, tell them again. They need to hear it from you.’ These conversations are things I feel so strongly about, issues that I have struggled with, that I have STRUGGLED WITH, for months, for years, for a lifetime. Now here I am, ready and wanting to live transparently and authentically, in hopes to empower others to do the same.
A common struggle is that of identity. We all want one. Likely, we all have one. Mother. Father. Wife. Sibling. Child. Employee. Boss. Giver. Taker. PTA Mom. Party girl. The list of words we label ourselves, and each other with, is endless. For some reason; we exist in this space where something always has to be on top, something always has to be numero uno; and the rest has to get pushed down, be less important. We can’t be boss and mom and daughter and rodeo cowgirl and wife and creator and traveler and speaker and writer and coffee connoisseur and have all of those things be equally important to us, can we?
Yes, we can.
We are all afraid to admit that one thing is not enough for us. If we say that being a mother isn’t enough, or that spending time with our partner doesn’t fulfill our emotional needs, we must be admitting failure. That we have not chosen well, that we are not committed, and that we are in fact, shit. We listen to that voice that says, “Grow up, and commit. Settle down, you’re too old for this, and you will fail anyway.” And we do. We don’t settle down, we just settle. We tell ourselves that we are ‘content’ with the way things are, that it is ‘good enough'; and that we are lucky to have what we have, because someone to your left or right has it far worse, and thank god you’re not in THEIR shoes (did you hear about Betsy and her husband? They’re getting a DIVORCE. insert head shakes here) A little insight friends. Yeah, Betsy is getting a shitty divorce and had to move into a tiny ass apartment with her two kids, but Betsy is now working on her new Etsy store selling her awesome knit scarves and writing guest blogs for one of her favorite sites and having a cocktail with that friend she NEVER got to catch up with on the 2 nights a week the kids are with their dad. But she’s got no money in savings and no husband, so Betsy’s life must suck. Insert my head shake here.
I’m not flying the flag for divorce,(really) or vacating your relationships, and certainly not for leaving your children, dogs, or goldfish behind in your pursuit of a full life. I’m flying the flag of empowerment, of embracing that those things are all a PART of your full life. It took me a great long time however, to understand that it was OK that they weren’t my WHOLE life. For a few months I had to go without roping and riding one of my horses due to an injury; and I was broken. I was lost. Then for a spell I stopped writing; for I was afraid what truths I might say if I sat down and put pen to paper…and I wasn’t prepared to read my own story, much less share it. And I was broken. I was, again, lost. I was not full. Existing through the days, fine as appearances go, but dying on the inside. I was not living my purpose, and that is the greatest wrong we can do to both ourselves, and the world we live in. When we ignore our purpose, the things that call us and light us on fire, we forgo our contribution to the universe, and in turn ignore the stamp we are meant to leave on this life. I have met so many women who are stuck. Stuck in this space of ‘must’ and ‘should’ and these conversations about the things they would love to do but ‘well, I just don’t have time for that with x, y, and z going on’. I’m here to drop the bullshit flag on you. That’s an excuse, it is blame, and it is unaccountability for your own life. There is no reason you can’t manage x, y, and z and still do that thing you would LOVE to do. Further there is the conversation that takes it’s turn when I ask ‘what would you do, if you could do anything at all? What would you be? If life as you knew it stopped tomorrow, and you were no longer required to make dinner, or pick the kids of up from school, or work at your job that you hate – WHAT WOULD YOU DO?’ And often the answer? “I don’t know.” This answer comes from a place of self hate, of worthlessness, of ‘I am not good enough’. This answer is unacceptable and it makes my heart cry and beat the floor of my soul with it’s fists. You are good enough, and you are ready. Right now.
I can sit here at my computer, or stand in front of you, and speak about self hate because I have been one of it’s greatest victims. I am no stranger to mistakes. I make them daily, in my attempt to grow in my life and in my pursuits. I have made mistakes I am not proud of, mistakes that have hurt people, mistakes that have above all, hurt me – and I have learned from them. I have also punished myself, and been punished, everyday, for years, for the actions of my past. I have looked in the mirror and told myself I was awesome, all the while my inner voice of self hate was screaming ‘you’re a fucking piece of shit’, because once, a long time ago, someone said that to me. That said, my level of appreciation for people that compliment me on my seemingly never ending supply of confidence is higher than I can convey. I have always been confident in my abilities; but I finally came to understand that it didn’t matter if I thought I was the best business person, the best artist, the best horsewoman, or what have you – if I didn’t sort my attitude out, I would receive nothing different in this world than exactly what I was getting. I needed to sort out my attitude about myself, and what I was worth. To me. Not to anyone around me, not to anyone from my past or anyone that might be in my future. While I love every person that brings their light into my life, they do not determine my value. I do, and anyone that does not agree with my value is free to leave, without any hard feelings from my end of the table. We all have our struggles, and the only one you are responsible for is yours. Fixing someone else’s struggles will not fix yours, make you more worthy, make you more beautiful, smarter, younger, slimmer, or richer. It will make someone else more successful, and leave you exactly where you stand right this second. So why would we not choose ourselves?
I am saying out loud, fully acknowledging that this will not sit well with everyone, that it is, in my opinion, the definition of a sad life, to never have known what you might be if only you’d had the courage and self value to try. You can be all of the things you have wistfully thought of as you sit up in bed perusing Pinterest and Facebook at night, in your safe bed at your respectable bedtime in your functional pajamas. Throw it away. Cut away the things that do not feed your fire. Why do you need to keep them, because someonel else says so? Who says so? And why is this imaginary someone calling the shots of your life? Get naked, in your body and in your soul, and get emotionally honest about what, and who, you want to be. The labels and roles we give ourselves are not mutually exclusive, and they are 100% by design. Get into the drivers seat of your life.
As always, if you’d like to connect more about this topic or any other than I cover, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.