There’s always a time that comes when raising children that it becomes necessary to step to the side. We can only guide and set the pace for so long, then they begin to stretch themselves in and out of the comfortable and familiar places to see whats out there, what else is on offer. They begin this process of sifting and sorting through life’s offerings usually at a time when we believe they are most vulnerable. We are wanting to keep them close by, keep them securely tucked under our wings, keep them safe from all we know is out there. But the truth is, it’s necessary that they begin to know this for themselves. It’s necessary that we listen to what it is they are wanting and needing to do, at what ever age it presents itself, however hard at times it may be to hear. Our readiness as parents may not always line up with theirs. We must be able to step to the side, even if the words are hard to hear, even if we already know what the probability of the outcome will be. Even if we believe that their choice is not going to serve them well, it remains to be their choice. I have been learning to stand to the side of my children for some time now. Their choices are hard ones to hold at times, and it has become necessary to know when to keep quite and allow the sifting and sorting of their preferences to be that of their own. My children have been learning what works for them and what doesn’t from very young ages. At times its felt as though some of the lessons have been too hard, that they have been too young to be carrying such weights. Weights, that most of the time they have chosen for themselves. It’s not easy to stand to the side, in the deepest of love, and wait, wait to see if they will come back full circle. I’ve noticed, that most of the time they usually do, on most things. They begin somewhere with an idea of themselves and they want to see how it fits out there in the world. Then they play, explore, dream, fly and fall. And eventually, usually always they’ll end up somewhere where they first began. This is the beginning of their lives moving in circles, eventually everything always brings them home, back to themselves.
“If you take your index finger and trace what seems to be the outside surface, you suddenly find yourself on what seems to be the inside surface. Continue along what seems to be the inside surface, and you suddenly find yourself on what seems to be the outside surface. ” Parker Palmer
I’ve spent 30 days nurturing the inside, gently saying no to most things on the outside and intern saying yes to myself. It’s necessary every now and again to reassess all that is going on in life and sort through all that’s not flowing in the same direction, if we are to keep ourselves wide open and remain steady on the path of our truth. It is finding ways of bringing the outside world into aliment with what we are seeking for ourselves on the inside. The space was easy to be in and flowed more naturally than i expected it would. It was easier to say no from this space. A space where i compassionately gave myself permission to matter more than any other for this moment. And before giving anyone my yes, i foremost required a yes from my inner world first. More often, it was a no, which helped me to realise just how much of my inner world i have been compromising for the outer worlds wanting. Finding the balance is essential in keeping the two worlds flowing harmoniously. For now, I have become my highest priority in my story. My well-being is the one that’s vitality matters most if i am to continue to carry the weight of my tribe and also stay on the path of living faithfully within my truth. And i am understanding ever so clearly now, that it must be for the sake of my children that i remain it to stay this way. For me to be my highest idea of myself as a mother, daughter, friend or anything on the outside world, i must foremost be the highest idea of myself in my inner world first. It’s the only way to keep moving forward. I’m not interested in standing still or bending myself in ways that i know are going against the inner flow. I’m only interested in keeping myself wide open and in the certainty that what ever path I am to embark on from here on in, will be one closer to a truth of who i am now, and will perhaps have little resemblance to any i have travelled before. I am reawakening the dreams that have been with me forever that i had some time ago decided could never be, and I have decided that they could be once again, for this Is my life. I’m focusing less on the intricate details of how and when things will come about and spending more time in the knowing of they just will. My children are on this journey with me, and they flow closer to their own rhythms of truth the closer i flow to mine. So it is as much for them as it is for me that i endeavour to stay on this journey of compassionately tending to myself, endeavouring to close the gap between my outside and inside worlds.
I’m loving myself enough to say no. No in kindness, no with absolute love, for myself. I’m loving myself enough to know that whatever i am extending to myself in this moment will eventually flow on and through me to effect the whole. I’m not bothered by the resistance for I am sitting strong and sure and in the knowing of my truths certainty. I understand that it’s not personal. They are just reactions to my actions. The resistance will always come, not because what I’m doing is wrong but because there is a deep sense of loss of control from the other, and possibly they are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with this new me. A me that is valuing herself and will acknowledge herself and how she feels before moving on any decision. Moving this way, is intimate, slower, mindful and with purpose. It’s not always going to sit well in this fast paced, get what you want, kind of a world. And there are always going to be times when people just don’t want to hear you say No. Its alright, I’m not taking it personally. I understand that it is impossible for me to continue to please and accommodate everyone, without treating myself with the same deference. Life just doesn’t work that way. We cannot truly share with others what we are essentially denying ourselves. So I’ve taken myself back to the beginning, giving to myself all that i ultimately wish to share with others. I’m not resisting the resistance, but rather allowing their experience to be that of their own, what ever that entails, it’s not my responsibility to own or carry how others choose to react, anymore. My mantra for todays is ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do’ – Luke 23:34 So be it, amen.
First Truth. I have five children. I’ve had two husbands. My marriages have served me well, not so much in the ways i thought they would but more so in the ways in which life was willing me show me what i needed to see at this time. I’ve made mountains of mistakes, that are mine to own and that I’m eternally grateful for. They are what has brought me closer to the truth of myself. I have held myself back from what i truly deserved more times than I’ve deserved which i am still learning as to why? I’ve found myself allowing things that i wouldn’t wish for my own daughters, i say daughters because its more often than not that they are they ones most likely to find their way into these places with another. I’m tired of pretending that what has played out doesn’t matter, or worse didn’t occur to keep peace, in the story that is playing out now. None of which serves me well. It’s not in my best interests to know secrets that are not mine to own, yet unspokenly held to keep them, so that they can stew around in the darkness causing unconscious turmoil to whomever they are connected to, even in the smallest of ways. Thats not my truth. I have nothing to hide. No errors that I’m ashamed of that cannot be spoken out loud. My mistakes have always been in trusting. Trusting others over the trust of myself. That hasn’t served me well. I’m trusting myself now. I’m trusting the instinctual judgment that comes from within, that wakes me up, says this is how it is even when a story is still playing out that i no longer wish to pretend to be apart of anymore, yet are continuing to do so for the sake of others. This doesn’t serve me. This is no longer the truth of me. Life at some stage needs to get real, I’m not afraid of shattering the illusion. I didn’t come here to sit quietly on the side lines and behave politely. I can no longer play roles and parts that don’t serve me and i won’t apologise for it. Peeling back the layers, requires being real in everything, with everyone. For some, this will be asking too much i understand this, the gap will be too great and ill let them go. And the ones that are meant to stay, of course will stay. It asks for us to unravel and be seen in all the shades even the ones we are most afraid of bringing to the light. But this is where i am. I have spent enough time playing in life, creating pictures to fill gaps and please all but myself. Its time for me to step into a deeper idea of who i am in this life. I’m awake now and it’s already begun.
We bake on most days, today it was scones. It’s hands on, messy and always unpredictable. Much like life. I’m thankful to finally be in place within where I am truly unconcerned with the unfolding of things, at peace with the predictable and unpredictable, similarly. I’m more contented in the not doing than the doing right now, its making way for space and thought and much needed reflection before embarking on this next chapter. Life is insisting that i move slowly and cautiously especially in what I’m deciphering to be serving for us right now. And I’m paying close attention this time, to the unspoken wisdom of this voice. I’m unafraid to press pause, to make room for the greater understanding that is surfacing. I’m not interested in repeating patterns. If i am willing life to move differently, i understand i must move differently also. Permission is unnecessary and not required at this stage in my life, saying no is inevitable. Retreating rarely suits everyone involved, It’s always going to be a personal journey, a reflection of the solitude kind. Retreating into quietness of thought, leaning into the places for deeper reflection is where life is beckoning me to be right now. I’ve decided to go. Not necessarily anywhere but I’m taking the journey within. I’m deciding to push pause. It won’t require me to run away from my life, because there’s no longer anything to run away from. But it does require that i pay close attention to all that has unfolded and in many ways is still unfolding. I’ll be keeping it simple. Staying close to the moment. No plans, no obligations or commitments, not for now anyway.
The children rise slowly now, and only begin when they are ready here. There is no where we need to be anymore, most of the time preferring to not venture out at all. Days fill quickly with imaginary play, day dreaming and exploring our new sanctum. The peace is animate. We are all breathing freely now, not answerable to anything or anyone, except ourselves. I imagine in a perfect world its the way it should always be, and we are all the more the happier for it. I am watching the children unfold in their own uniqueness, in a space without life’s constrictions, its allowing them to be all of who they perfectly are. As i move closer towards what is true for myself, the more settled they are becoming within the truth of themselves. I have withdrawn on purpose, with purpose. Choosing to let go rather than fill unnecessarily our lives and time with things that don’t matter. I am growing stronger, quieter, surer and feeling my way through what i am wanting to remain, quickly giving myself permission to let go of what no longer needs to, without apologising. I’m seeking within, moving in the direction of having, doing and needing less and the more i enter this space, the clearer things are becoming, with a sense absolute. This is my life, the story i am creating on the pages are mine to own and live by, and all that’s really seeming to matter now is that i stay faithful to myself. I understand that my truth will not always be what serves the truth of others and only with love, can i say, that I am alright with things being that way. It is within the certainty of this space, I have let go of any need to please or pretend or play any roles anymore. I am moving from a different place now, and everything in life seems to be aligning itself along side it, including the children. So much of life seems to be directed for us, set on a path whether we are willing to follow it or not. I realise it is a courageous path to take choosing to follow your own wild heart, and in doing so be fearless with your choices, and i know it’s not for everyone, but it is where i want to be, that is something i know for sure.