It’s admittedly been hard to tune out the voices of the world recently and dive inwards. Inward has always been my safe space, where I listen to the drum of my own heartbeat and hear the quiet voice of my intuition. It’s often quiet, calm and mystical in there, like laying out on your hammock, while hearing the leaves rustle. It sounds magical and it truly is, but it’s also taken me a long time to find the balance between inner calm and accepting the days when I just simply feel ‘messy.’ I recently found myself face-first in ‘the mess.’ I had been travelling all of last week and arrived back home to a busy weekend. When this happens, I find myself questioning myself, my core values and who I am and these feelings are even more intensified when I feel like I haven’t showed up fully as a mother to my children.
My life has been a series of inner journeys and it’s taken me a while to accept the parts of myself which make me who I am. I believe that it’s easier to reject ourselves when we feel like we don’t measure up to society’s expectations of us. When we fall short as mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and friends, our default coping strategy is not to evaluate whether these standards are realistic, but rather to judge, shame and immediately seek to ‘improve’ ourselves. Usually when I have messy days, I find myself giving myself a pep talk about why I’m so bad, listing all the reasons why I haven’t showed up and this would eventually end up making me feel much worse. This time, I realized that one messy day doesn’t define our entire week. It doesn’t have to, because messy days come and go.
I believe that it takes more bravery to stop in the midst of the mess and offer yourself more kindness, softer gentleness and firmer self-care and that’s exactly what I did for myself. Last week I took too much on my plate and wanted to save the world, only to realize that sometimes you can just save yourself. There is guilt which comes with this but I am learning how to take on less, how to structure my travel and how to give myself a day off before I jump straight back into work and my daily life.
I think that our inner perfectionists will creep up on us from time to time, like an old friend knocking on your door with last year’s baggage. We can often be our toughest critics, handing in daily reviews of how well and how bad we did at living that day. When I think back to how harsh we can be with ourselves and our hearts, I feel more compassion for the human spirit because I believe that even in the smallest of ways, we’re all just simply trying to show up as our best selves, second by second and day by day.
But it’s not easy. As a society, we constantly find ourselves in a rat race of ‘self-improvement,’ or else we confuse ourselves for being lazy or unproductive. But what if our bad and messy days are just as important as our good days? What if the mess is just a reminder of how human, imperfect and perfectly normal we are?
I believe that when we keep returning back home to that inner safe haven under the hammock, we give ourselves so much more grace for ‘the mess.’ The peace is only amplified because of the mess. Maybe what we really mean when we speak of true humanity is the actual messiness of what it means to figure life out and learn new lessons each and every step of the way, no matter how old or wise you may be.
I’m giving myself grace for being messy and being human. What separates me from choosing to dwell in the mess to instead transitioning through it was how I reflected and noticed how I could do better in the future. Let’s use our mess and create art. Let’s splatter paint over all those perfectly white pages and rewrite history with our mess.
I believe that the secret is that each and every single one of us is messy and that this is also what makes us so utterly magnificent. The world needs our mess.
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