"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Monday, January 15, 2018

free at last {not what you think}

the hardest things to write about are the things that hurt.
the things that you don't want anyone to see.
the reel that's in your head.
that never ending tug at your inside.
the one that you forget about in the busy.
the one that sits there waiting for you to have quiet.
so it can nag and nag and nag.
time always makes it go away.
not nag as much.
maybe it just numbs.
but sometimes time is so slow.
this past summer was a lot of that slow nagging for me.
i remember coming out of it in october.
right around the time this picture was taken.
like this haze had lifted.
i felt like i had lost and gained someone all at once.
it was like i had come out of a tornado, 
and everything was out of place,
but in a good way. 
it wasn't like i wanted it to go back.
ain't no mountain high enough LOL.
it felt good.
like reorganizing the furniture.
for so long this blog was about me writing about my life as a stay at home mom.
romanticizing everything from flipping tortillas to babies in the laundry basket.
so many good good years.
then overnight, everything changed.
at least it felt like that.
and i loved it.
still flipping tortillas and babies in the laundry basket, 
but there was more.
like this new love affair with my life.
seeing this person inside of me.
one that had always been there.
i think she has always been there.
i know she's always been there.
but i just hadn't let her come out to play for awhile.
maybe just parts of her at different times in my life,
but never all of her.
i hadn't ever really let her out of the yard.
and what i can't deny is one thing....
i felt so much shame and guilt letting that girl out.
it's painful really.
not because i felt like i was doing something wrong,
but because i was challenging myself and the things i thought.
i'm not talking about religion or core values.
nothing like that.
those things have all stayed the same.
i'm talking about how deeply inside of me,
 i was checking off a specific checklist of perfection every day.
and it wasn't like anyone was expecting this of me.
i've always been very driven.
a people pleaser really,
and codependent.
the girl without boyfriends with codependence issues.
it's funny isn't it?
and it wasn't like i didn't have joy in doing it.
the checklist.
because i did.
have joy in it.
{this is NOT about checklists}
it felt safe and comforting.
homemade dinner. check.
everyone bathed every day, hair combed. check.
home lunch with less than 5 ingredients. check.
not too much dessert. check.
perfect bedtime routine. check.
wipe the table the down after every meal. check.
laundry. check.
dishes. check.
clean house. check...or not {let's keep things real ha}
exercise 3x a week. check.
i didn't feel like i had to do it.
i just felt more calm doing it.
it made me avoid feeling any guilt or shame.
it was about controlling it all in my head i think.
i think most of us do that at one time or another.
maybe your checklists look different than mine.
maybe they come in another form.
now before you put this post into 
"another one of those self acceptance and letting go of perfectionism" posts, 
let me explain.
because i know i'm not alone.
why did i LOVE working so much?
why did i sacrifice so much to do it?
soooo many reasons.
seeing people walk again {true story},
people getting out bed HAPPY,
people drinking milk again bahaha #justsayin ,
people giving up dependencies they thought the needed to survive,
people feeling less pain,
people living more,
becoming a leader,
prayers being answered like nothing i've ever seen.
all divinely guided.
and miracles that so many of you will never see.
some too sacred to share.
others you've read about.
maybe YOU reading this right now are one of the tens of thousands of lives changed.
the ripple has gone so far.
but do you want to know what else i loved?
i loved that it freed me from the checklist.
not the one anyone else had created.
not one i hated.
one i LOVED.
one that had brought me great joy.
one that was keeping me from feeling guilt and shame.
read that again.
because here's the thing.
if you're controlling everything so you're not feeling the guilt and shame,
and you're living JUST SO,
how can you ever really grow?
how can you ever really feel?
how can you ever REALLY become anything more?
there's something to be said about that elsa and not letting anyone see,
and i know you know what i'm talking about.
if you don't,
that scares me even more.
because what i have seen in the last two years is more people 
not wanting others to see.
binding yourself to looking and appearing a certain way.
it's like this innate childhood curse that we think we left in childhood...
in high school...
only to find out we've been safely stowing it in our bags everywhere we've gone all along.
it's like it's there, and we don't even see it.
brene brown goes into incredible depth on her research concerning guilt and shame,
and how it's connected to hiding those things we don't even see.
read her books.
they will change you.
the root issue of it all,
to feel so deeply, 
and challenge yourself out of something in this way,
standing by yourself with people all around you.
it's a gift.
all day today i've had dr. martin luther king jr's words in my head.
"free at last, free at last, thank god almighty, we are free at last."
because there's freedom in people seeing.
there's freedom in standing out in the wilderness where no one else is standing.
for everyone to see.
in the book of mormon we read about what i would call heroes.
they are never the ones in "the group."
they are always standing alone.
usually not doing the thing that everyone else is accepting.
they all come around.
but the hero of the story always must stand alone first.
it's the strength that it takes to stand alone that builds great character.
that's what i'm interested in.
that's what i've made my life's work about these last two years.
it has hurt on some days.
so badly.
and on most days, it's been JOY.
to see it all.
to feel it all.
even when it's a lot to see.
it's not like those things i felt free from are binding.
i love doing all of those things still.
they bring me GREAT joy.
homemaking is a sacred honor, and one i'm grateful to enjoy doing.
{also, i'm not saying that they are binding you}.
this is about me LOL!
that sounds so silly.
and none of it is about household tasks anyway.
this post is NOT about household tasks.
it's about being free.
and what it takes to truly achieve being free.
as maya angelou says,
"you only are free when you realize you belong no place — 
you belong every place — 
no place at all."
which is hard for someone who always just wants to belong.
ehem me.
maybe you?
don't we all have the yearning inside of us?
today was a "normal" day.
no work.
just normal do the laundry,
flip the tortillas,
put away the laundry,
make the lunch,
read with chase,
pin dean down to change his diaper.
without any interruptions or stressors.
despite the kids being home from school.
just a good old fashioned "life before i worked full time" sort of day.
it felt like coming home.
almost like a vacation.
but this is what i'm saying...
when i started working, it made me feel FREE from myself.
most people haven't seen all of this.
my job is like this volunteer church mission, 
except i get paid well, 
and often times most people on the outside looking in 
tend to think that i'm being boastful and self serving.
but they don't see.
and i gave up a long time ago trying to make them. 
sometimes i catch a glimpse of myself doing "normal" things, 
like today...
and it reminds me of that familiar space that used to be every day.
i love the days where i get to visit that girl before i grew into the woman i am now.
today was one of those days, and it was pure heaven.
not because i want to be her again,
but because i get to visit her with a better version of myself to share.
one that knows leadership in a way i've only ever dreamed of achieving,
and one that recognizes guilt and shame for what it is.
one that stands alone for all to see.
because she knows.
she's a friend i don't feel like i need to see every day anymore, 
but boy do i love to catch up every now and then.
and it makes me feel so free.
free at last
free at last
thank god almighty