Keep friends in your life who do not douse your passions; people who can look you in the eye and permit you to be you. No matter how you are showing up, whatever relative version of you is moving through your life’s circumstances the very best way possible. People who want you to be false will douse your passions.
If you are a mother, befriend honest mothers. Honest mothers tell the whole story. They call you when they need help, floating in the vast ocean of too little sleep, too much intensity, too few skills and a heartbreaking desire to contribute to something safe, clear and nurturing. Honest moms are brave enough to be raw, bold enough to be honest and don’t let others drown in the ocean. We may take turns treading that water, gulping some in and missing out on opportunities to throw a lifeline, but we don’t turn away from someone actively drowning while we are standing on solid ground. When I am with another honest mom, our laughter and tears refill my drained shell and I am able to give and receive love again, effortlessly and abundantly.
Don’t believe you are wise. Don’t fall for the idea that any one of us is wise. We are learning. The wisdom moves through us. The wisdom is really moving through you today, kiddo, that’s awesome; I love to hear you listening and trusting yourself.
Feel. Feel deeply. If you have had to freeze your feelings to prevent constant flooding, please know many of us do that. It’s a great strategy. Then, in time, it’s worth experimenting with a thaw. At first the water dripping down is uncomfortable. Then the ice is almost gone and it’s scary losing something so helpful. Then we are water again, and we flow. If the floods come again, look for your helpers. You’ve got this and there is a whole great portion of the world ready to cheer you on to flood management wizardry. Therapists, healers, community. Practices and mentors and friends and professionals. Surfers and swimmers and boaters and some of us just like to float. We will float with you.
Do not lock onto another person’s limitations. It will barricade all possible greatness. When our standard for others is to be limitless, it is because we are embracing and likely enforcing unachievable, painful standards over ourselves. And like an exhilarating, cruel game, we whip the horse harder and faster to win, and we begin to enjoy it. It IS thrilling, and it is also how we smother and crush the delicate brilliance all around us. Let the wisdom move through us all as we consider that there is time to achieve merciful, equitable and joyful efficiency.
I have become aware recently that I am not able to see myself the way others see me, and that each other in my life knows me in shades and nuances each their own. I hear reflections and stories about these Tanyas and I feel warmth, delight, and I marvel.
I can clearly feel parts of myself, loosely connected at any one time; other times the compartmentalization borne from a fierce place, adaptive.
I am a mother. I lose sight of my self entirely, for large segments of my life. I don’t intend to, and in fact I have great blueprints constructed to prevent it. Somewhere in my earnest response to tasks and bids coming my way from small people, I forget. They come too quickly; I can’t field them well. That is what I understand, and frankly anyone else’s determination of understanding, pre-emption or proclamation doesn’t matter.
I have a beautifully laid, congruent plan. It is not a lack of planning. It is a lack of resources. A lack of ability. A lack of something I can never quite articulate because I am not lacking at all. It is the nature. It is complex. It is my schematics gone perfectly chaotic.
Others see my warmth. They hold it up to me in times I most need it, fumbling my way through. I keep moving. Resting, moving, resting. I look in the mirror and contemplate who I might be and it is incomprehensible.
Lift up the unfolding relevance of younger persons. Host their unfeathered discoveries with silent reverence. If they are talking, listen. Do not attempt to assert your relevance overtop of those yet unfolding. If you let the wisdom move through you and you listen with the sparkling light of love, curiosity and earnest goodwill in your eyes, ears and hearts, they will know you are a safe steward of their growth. Their growth. They will come to you. When it is time to teach, they will come to you, and they will ask.
You are inherently relevant. There is need to chase it, wrestle with it, yearn for it or prove it. Those are illusions that keep you parched alongside a waterfall. Let people drink from those waters. With cool satisfaction, watch them come and go. There are many waterfalls, springs and wells; the mineral content and contaminants different for each one.
Softly. With discernment. Raise your essence and voice alongside the greatness of others. We were never meant for monoculture.
Photo from David Domoney’s website on my newest obsession: https://www.daviddomoney.com/how-to-grow-a-wildflower-meadow-in-the-garden/