If you read this as you lay your head down to sleep, or as your eyes are waking to a new day, or maybe as an intermission to the in between; I offer a potential perspective. Whether for the turn of a new year and the release of one fully lived, or whether you choose this offering as words for the moment's entertainment, may it be of benefit for your unique introspection.
If there are pieces at which you have been picking away that don't seem to fit or that didn't match up to those grandiose expectations of yours, I can relate. You know the ones. It's those pieces that don't look like anyone else's masterpiece. Maybe those sections of your life that you constantly massage over, and try to perfect; at which you begrudgingly scuff in annoyance on a good day, and in disbelief on most; maybe those very pieces as a matter of fact, are your riches.
Maybe the array of mis-matched oddities are what has given you your greatness. Maybe you are a dynamic to be reckoned with in contrast to your untouched, unopened, protected simple self from yesterday. Maybe those pieces are actually answered prayers and realized dreams. When we are uneasy, maybe it is a sign we are in the midst of of life's active fruition and we aren't ripe to step back in admiration quite yet. It's like an artist cloaked in vulnerability, clenching over the process of releasing its creation.
These tender unveilings are our stories. Bits of our humanity we so secretly hide in utter terror of having lost our value to be loved.
I am not where I imagined. It's a battle with myself to keep a house clean, a kid happy, to be a mother and a father in one. The bread winner, the soft mother figure, the desirable single woman, the artist, the wise teacher, the business prowess, and the conscious yogi; all sections of one pie. My body is not where I often expect it to be and my spirit frequently rebels in frustration for what isn't. Any given choice takes away from the other. I live in constant juggling and weighing options of which I empower and which will become deflated because of it. I feel spread so thin at times that I cringe knowing I can't be more to any one thing and I worry as often as I scroll through a never ending to do list, if I am ever enough. Enough for my son. Enough to sustain a household. Enough to raise a supported, emotionally healthy, conscious, curious, innocent, child. Enough to feed my own spirit so I may authentically radiate trust to his. Enough to grow and learn and have a shot at reaching dreams that will not let me be.
I worry more than anyone should about giving my son a full home. My love is all I have and I give it unsparingly. I vowed to make sure he feels it so as to mend the gap of not having mom AND dad under one roof. He has never known what that is like and I worry that it will cast a hole in his heart greater than I could ever mend. (He was 18 months the last time he experienced it). And so I question if what I have is enough to compensate for what has been taken from him; as if it ever could; as if it were my role when I know far too well we each have our own paths. Like an obsessive banker counting the balance, I go over and over my capacity to make it alright. To be enough to make it alright.
Every other weekend, I kiss a forehead knowing I won't get to again for four days. And every other weekend, I cry. My heart breaks all over again as much as I scorn at it not to. This is a story I have tried to let go of for years. You see, maybe that's the catch. The more we try to depart from something, the more present it becomes in our lives. It's like compensating for an injury. My mind tries to carry my heart and tell it to accept. My brain says acceptance will numb the ache. It won't change. This is reality, it says. Accept and move on.
My heart's response is a bit different. It hurts. Surrender, it says. And so I fall into the cloud of tenderness surrounding me. I wonder what this ache does to a Mother. The in and out of her little boy. The protectiveness of his heart foremost and the tending to her own when the empty space makes it hard to ignore. Surrender. It's all there is. I acknowledge my reality for what it is. I see the truth staring me in the face. Yes, it's painful. Yes, it's different and very few actually know what this existence feels like. I stare right back at it until it's ready to soften.
I stare at this parenting alone. I've missed moments from 18 months to now 6 years old. I've missed 30% of his life and the only way to get past that is to; well, I don't know if you ever really do. It's a daunting task of going at it alone. Every single day. The heaviness of not having an emotional parenting partner to lift you when you need it. To yearn for your child when you want to see him, but a legal document stands in your way. This being whose life grew in you, and you can't see him at your free will because ironically enough, a document was crafted to create peace. Other parents will never know Christmas morning without their child's smile. They will never know when he cries that he misses you and you are forced to soothe his pain by cheering his visits with his father. They will never know what it feels like when your six year old knows that next year you will be together over Thanksgiving and he will be with his father on Christmas. He still has trouble knowing when he will be where during the week and you can't fathom yourself how someone can sleep in different houses multiple times a week. You will never know what it's like to desperately want to take these burdens away from your innocent child and to accept it was the best decision you could have made for everyone in the long run. You goddam hope so.
Talk about the mother (no pun intended) of all challenges to surrender. So next time someone says, let it go, remember that comes with a grain of salt only you can fathom for yourself. No one will ever know the depths of you better than yourself.
And here I am. Not quite measuring up to anyone else's life. I look nothing like my single friends and nothing like my son's friends' families. I don't quite fit in anywhere. It can be a mess. It can also be fullness. How many lives have I been granted in this one precious breath? How vastly blessed am I to find and offer meaning in so many avenues?
With all of this pain, I have learned to seek refuge, and to find sweet relief in the underbelly of perception. I have been forced to use my voice and to accept the spaces in between what is. What is left after the reality makes a home with your life? You get to know it. All of it. Those hats I sometimes feel as weight, I also celebrate as open roads to be so much. I somehow, through this maze, have given myself the freedom to take each piece and taste every morsel. It is powerful beyond measure. I am not what I expected myself to be. I am richer. I am much more interesting and full of experience to know compassion from the depths. Purpose is born after the mourning of a loss. It is what I have to give.
I have taught a very young child the beauty of life because I have truly felt it. I have been forced to know myself inside out and to face the darkness that comes with an unexpected experience. Because of that, I've seen miracles in transformation. I've known forginvess out of deep pain. I've felt greater love out of a heart's yearning. I've been face to face with patience and trust in healing and in the grandeur that comes from allowing life to unfold. I bow to peace knowing it is as necessary as air. I have seen my own strength in rebuilding and in cultivating a life with so many facets. Perhaps I've seen my dreams come true. Not in a swift, fairytale story. That has never been my style. I'm much too stubborn and have always felt more value in getting dirty in order to earn what's worthwhile. My dreams of being so many different things have certainly come true. I have traveled around the world and back, in spirit, collecting knowledge and adventure in the unseen. My roots are deep and run far and wide. I stand taller than I ever could had I not lived this life. This precious and glorious life.
What if we don't seek for happiness or achievement? What if we don't add to the pile of expectation with resolutions and wondering what to improve? What if we move knowing we contain everything we need? What if happiness already resides within us and all resolutions are based on seeing that we are fully equipped. Here.
May we dare to meet life with a vengeance of trust.
May life's response be a reflection of our heart's braving to see our already answered prayer.
May the greater the undoing and the mess, the more strikingly beautiful and unprecedented the gift.
We are living the manifestation to a future we cannot see until we are ready to collide.
May your steps in the coming day and new year be inspired by trust that your masterpiece is declaring its existence.
Meaning is asking you to unveil it.
Aligned with your deepest knowing, I hope you feel it in your bones, the great fortune that you my dear, are art revealed.