It's been a while, yes, it's always 'been a while'. I have to admit I've neglected my responsibility to myself lately. I have let myself get absorbed in apathy and 'just getting through'. In a decision I will no doubt make again and again and again (and one I have probably made before!) I say no more, I again, will choose to find time to build in to who I am.
What does that look like? How does that work? Being a young mum, being a young wife, being a sister, a daughter, a friend - where is that time going to come from?
People regularly tell me, and if you've ever been to any kind of counselling or the like, you will have heard it too, that we need to 'take a step back'. Well flip, I don't know if you agree but sometimes that is TERRIFYING! It can be incredibly overwhelming to step back and actually acknowledge everything that is part of your life, sometimes it is far easier to walk, head down, one step at a time, one event, one aspect of life at a time. BUT WHY?? I want to live with my head up, enjoying the challenges, embracing the craziness, fighting the fear. The questions is how...
What does that look like? How does that work?
I'm the kind of person who always looks for the one answer, there needs to be ONE solution, ONE, right way to do things. I am slowly understanding that there isn't always ONE way. If I want to live with my head up, I need to understand that sometimes I will be walking head down, one step at a time, carefully and slowly placing my feet, and once I've gotten through that I can dance down the next part of the road. Life is so full of both/and, justice AND mercy, discipline AND love, speaking AND listening.
I was reading the Bible the other day, in the book of Ecclesiastes it talks about how there is a time for everything and I remember thinking even if I didn't hold the Bible as truth, I would find that passage so encouraging. Knowing that the sun will rise, and the sun will set, as it always has, the wind will blow, the rivers will flow, and the earth will keep spinning. I will have days of joy, days of tiredness, days of faith, days of hope, days of doubt, days of fear... and THAT IS OK.
I need to learn, and probably more importantly, learn to be OK with the fact that life is both/and. Some days I will make time to build in to who I am, some days I won't... THAT IS OK. Sometimes I will make a delicious meal for my husband when he gets home from work, some days it'll be egg on toast... THAT IS OK. Sometimes I will sit on the floor and play with my daughter and deal patiently with the tears and tantrums, some days it will be 'quiet time and movies'... THAT IS OK.
Women especially put a lot of pressure on themselves to be everything to everyone. Well that's just not possible, as much as I'd like to believe it is. I don't know why that is, I don't know if men have the same problem, if it is in fact a problem? It is good to push ourselves to be better, to reach our potential, so maybe it's not so much about that, but about realising our value, our gifts and skills. We don't need to be everything to everyone, we just need to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
Doesn't that just sum it up completely in such a beautiful way. It's scary but it's true, there are some things that I will just never be good at, or never as good as others, so why not just be the best at what I can be. Doesn't that make you feel free? I love the word 'free'. It makes me feel happy, I bubble up inside at the thought. You know? That squirmy, falling in love, butterflies, can't sit still kind of feeling? That's how I feel about being free.
This is who I want to be. Free to live, to walk, to be both/and. What do you think?
love, Jess xx
P.S. Amazing cupcake recipe up today! x