Life is so confusing. I don’t mean in a ‘searching for your true spiritual purpose’ kinda way. But like everyday! Life is confusing; I am confused – a lot.
There’s this life I want, you know, where I meditate every day, am happy to have really given up the fags, I love to exercise, eat clean whole foods because my body is a temple and I am a walking goddess! In this life there is no clutter, in my house or my mind. I menu plan and know where everything is in my home before anyone has even asked. It’s the life where I am all over everything, you know, school readers, and camp notes, I’m organized and dare I say it; happy and pretty proud of myself. It’s the life where I am practicing the self-love I so keenly share with my clients and walk my talk. This is the life where I am a social butterfly, with a little bit of Earth Mother, Mother Theresa and the Dali Lama thrown in, saving the world, one confused, lonely, troubled soul at a time, leaving nothing but a trail of inspiration in my wake.
Here’s the thing though, sometimes my life, for a fleeting moment, is exactly like this and other times it really, really isn’t.
The other side of this life; my life, is the reality that creeps in when my superhero cape comes off, I stop menu planning, fermenting my veggies and accidently inhale a whole block of Lindt Salted Caramel chocolate that I had strategically hid so no fucker would find it. This life, the one I have been far too comfortable with consists of more washing than you can imagine, me toying between nicotine patches and sneaking in the real thing. It’s the one where at least once a day I quit ‘mumming’ to see if any other bastard in my house will pick up the slack or even notice that I’m on strike. You know and I can be cunning, purposely leaving shit, like a bin, or dishwasher that needs emptying, to see how long it takes for it to bother one of the other dwellers I co-habitate with. And I am usually quite often disappointed.
This is the life where I feel everyone around me is waiting for me to fuck up, and I never disappoint, because essentially I aim to please. It’s the one where I see the irony within myself as a life and meditation coach, helping others sort themselves and their lives out and yet simultaneously have a chaos in my own, that I pray I doesn’t get me outed. At one time, I was so paranoid I used to think I was like Jim Carey’s character in the movie The Truman Show, and people said the things I wanted to hear, I lived in a bubble of the life I want but at the end of the day everyone saw through me, my flaws, my parenting fails and my often well hidden self-loathing.
This life is where I border on depression and would rather watch Netflix, eat chocolate, smoke ciggies and my only exercise is getting up to find my computer charger, so I can finish watching ‘House of Cards’.
Meet me; I am very much a solid, confusing mix of both of these lives. Life is a duality. This is me. I am as fucked up as the next person, and in the past it was a “I’m doing what I can to get a handle on this shit and hopefully no one will notice” kind of a way.
Well now I am coming clean, baring my soul, both sides of it. Sometimes truth is ugly and even then, I feel it’s necessary. I’d like to think the bigger part of me though is authentic. I am taking the ‘pretty’ filter off my life now and sharing the real warts and all me. My hope in doing this is that it will spread like wildfire and we can all be one hot, gorgeous, authentic, perfectly imperfect mess together. We can all take our pretty filters off and understand it’s time for truth in everything we do. Truth feels way better than judgment, and better than guilt.
It will also allow someone who is having a day like me to resonate with my words and my honesty, and laugh or cry with me, and to just know that you are enough exactly as you are and you are bloody brilliant, we all are.
We won’t always get it right, but who cares I’d rather be happy than be right anyway, and yes there will always be those people that would rather by right than be happy, and I say – let ‘em. Just know there are countless others who are feeling like you, or have felt that way, and instead of judging each other, let’s ask that soul, “How can I help?” or even better, don’t ask, just do something for her that you would love when you’ve been feeling as shit as she is right now.
Buy her chocolate, take her kids, cook her dinner, sit, listen and empathize as she shares her perceived failures with you, but do not judge her, for she is a goddess too, she’s just in need of someone who understands, nothing more. And then remind her, she is phenomenal. Today I needed reminding that I am enough and that I am phenomenal – so I phoned a friend, and then I started writing.
It’s Monday morning and my 6 year old is screaming that she does not want to go to school and has spent one hour jumping naked on the couch in protest.
My tolerance is at an all time low because I have been dreaming about this day, no one in the house but me and my dog, and I can sit down and study and knock out my assignments, write my blogs and another chapter for an upcoming book.
It’s like she smells it, my desperation for solitude. They say animals’ sense fear; I think kids are the same. Like when your in public and they have a bigger than usual meltdown, or when they know Mumma needs a break and they push you to breakdown instead. Or when you have clearly not had enough sleep and you inadvertently serve their breakfast on the wrong plate, she wanted the Frozen plate not the Toy Story one, and you stupidly apologise thinking that your mothering psychic powers are clearly broken today. Or when you are sitting in the dentist office and your kid is destroying the waiting room. Or when you are so desperate for ‘me time’ and they pull out the big guns and you scream like a banshee and then end up feeling like pond scum. Every mother has it ‘mum guilt’, and right in this moment, I think mum guilt is the only thing I am winning at today.
Motherhood, it’s a tough gig. They say it takes a village to raise a child, I think sometimes I need an entire country, a cheer squad and then some.
My delicious 15 years old did her best to talk her little sister around and gave me an extra kiss this morning as she headed out to catch the bus, knowing I needed it.
My gorgeous husband came home from his first job this morning and got changed and then to really show off and prove his worthiness as the ‘better parent’ he somehow manages, as if he possesses some kind of magical power, to get the said 6 year old effortlessly dressed and hair done in 10 minutes, like it was never a big deal to begin with. “Yeah”, I think to myself “I’m really not cut out for mumming today.”
She screamed all the way to school and then all the way to the classroom. Awesome! Her beautiful teacher walks over and talks to Ava so sweetly, I feel guilty again, because I wasn’t that sweet to her this morning as I tried to reason with her to at least put knickers on.
I gave her teacher an apologetic look and Forest Gumped it out of there, trying to hold back my tears.
And here I am, sharing it with you, in the hope that this is somehow normal and every mother on the planet experiences this at one time or another.
Guilt though is not limited to mums. We all have it at about something. Whether it’s a situation we could have handled better, something we did or didn’t eat, or words we could have spoken, or the ones we wished we had. No one actually benefits from us feeling guilty – ever. Guilt really serves no positive purpose in our life; it creates self-loathing often leading to self-destructive behaviors, holds us in the past and robs us of time. So why do we do it? And why are so many of us so good at it? And better still how can we kick guilt in the balls and keep going?
Guilt is one of those things that pulls our heads and our hearts in opposite directions. It’s a battle between imposed expectations sometimes from others, but more often than not, it’s the expectations from ourselves that can really bring us undone.
I have over the years had a huge list of things I have felt guilty for and have really spent a lot of time letting that shit go because I know it is so counterproductive and can send someone like me, with depressive tendencies into full blown depression. When it does creep back in, bringing self-doubt and an overwhelming feeling of failure, as it did this morning, I like to promptly kick it in the balls and keep going. Today my way of kicking it in the balls was to phone a friend and then by sharing it with you.
I don’t have to wait until tomorrow to feel better, as I write this I already do. There is something cathartic and liberating about baring your soul completely and unedited. I’ve found communication to be the best platform to shift stuff, especially guilt, and one way I communicate is through writing. If writing isn’t your thing, pick up the phone and share, talk thru your guilt with someone you completely trust. Meditation is something that also really helps me get a handle on guilt. It gives me clarity and allows me the time I need to regroup and feel gratitude. For example, right now I feel grateful that Ava in her all knowing wisdom gave me something to write about, that my beautiful husband came home before I really lost my shit, that Ava’s teacher is a gorgeous, gentle soul, that I have girlfriends that I can be completely vulnerable with, that my kind hearted 15 year old could see the anguish on my face that she did everything in her power to reason with her unreasonable sister and that I was brave enough to post this blog. Gratitude wins out every time and can bring a feeling of peace even when you don’t think it’s even possible. You don’t have to do this alone. It is so interesting that people can surround us constantly yet; at times we can still feel lonely. I am here to tell you Sister, you are not alone, I am with you, all of me, the unfiltered (see the attached photo), unedited, vulnerable, sometimes messy, sometimes organized, perfectly imperfect, non-judgmental, straight shooting Goddess that I am. I am here for you, let’s talk thru this stuff and know the more real we are with ourselves and each other, maybe the less judgmental we will be of others and the less guilt we will unleash on ourselves.
It’s time people, for more honest conversation and less criticism, more gratitude and less guilt. Let’s collectively kick guilt in the balls and keep going!
Two people, one my gorgeous lifelong girlfriend, who shares her mum guilt and failings with me, and the other, the author of the book she gave me, Constance Hall, have inspired this very honest blog post. Constance, thank you for making me realize the only true failure I’ve had, has been not writing like this sooner.
PS “Like A Queen” by Constance Hall is mandatory reading for every man, woman and child! Get your copy at www.queensofconstance.com
Love Lizzy x
I am a bit of a hippy, a lot of a foodie and a lover of all things beautiful :-)