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Showing UP!

November19

Showing up is hard sometimes. I mean of course I am physically “here” but mentally, emotionally? Not always. Some days I have to retreat to the cocoon of myself in order to survive. But as lovely Glennon reminds me, life is Brutiful (beautiful and brutal) and if we don’t show up we won’t find the beauty.

It is hard being a woman. Not as hard as it was 50 years ago,but still. Some of the stereotypes still exist. And all of the pressure we put upon ourselves never went away. In fact, in some ways I feel like that part has gotten harder. In the ’50’s most women were mothers and house wives. To challenge that was taboo and I’m so glad my sisters before me fought to show the world that they were intelligent and worthy and capable of more. But it introduced a new paradigm. The need to be all things to all people. ¬†Although we now have the ‘freedom’ to pursue our own passions in the work place and the world at large, as a result we are pulled in a million different directions. There is nothing clear-cut about the definition of what it means to be a ‘modern woman.’

To be a Mother doesn’t look the same for everyone. And that’s okay. In fact it’s absolutely necessary. How frightening if we were all Stepford Wives. But nonetheless, we struggle with comparisons. With feeling like we’re not enough. With never quite knowing what our niche is. Because womanhood transcends motherhood. But motherhood is all-consuming.

Lately I have struggled extra with my identity. Since my husband has been injured and off work I feel more pressure than usual to contribute financially. The thing is though, I can’t be everything. But still I try to be. I hold myself to this high standard and then beat myself up for not measuring up. In my mind I am never enough. And the scariest thing about that is the image I may be portraying to my daughters. But how can we be everything? How can we be self-actualized and self-sacrificing at the same time? I don’t know how. I truly don’t. I’ve read stories of women who have done it. But I know even the ‘successful ones’ struggle and feel inadequate and like they’re letting someone down.

I’m still trying to learn, 40 plus years in, how to find balance. As a result I feel like I am constantly tossing things one way and the other, trying not to tip the scale too far in one direction. I’m a frantic mess. It may not show on the outside (although it probably does) but I am just trying to keep everything from collapsing. But it’s like that old adage about putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, so you don’t pass out on those that need you. ¬†I’m still learning to breathe. Breathe and show up. Most days that’s all I can do.

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