I think about the pieces that are her story, the pieces that are mine, and I know we are here to teach each other.
And yet, sometimes our different personalities make me feel like I woke up in the middle of a busy intersection in a country I've never visited.
And yet, so often she holds up a mirror.
And yet, even though the initial moments of my return Saturday night from a week away were in the realm of me saying to the universe, "Wait, what? You stitch me back together and throw me into this?" with tears tapping around the edges, we made it to the next day with a renewed sense of softness amidst the sharp edges.
As she said goodbye on her way to camp one day last week, she yelled through the closing door, "I can't wait to cuddle more as soon as I get home."
Yes. Yes to all of it.
Even the holy wow this is harder than I ever thought it could be moments.
Because last week in the sacred meadow I remembered the answers inside me.
I remembered I am never alone.
I remembered I could reach out with an open hand.
I remembered there is still time to teach her so much.
The truth is: Sometimes I try to convince myself that there is supposed to be a balance. Or that other people know what they're doing while I flail. I try to convince myself that I've failed. That somehow so much that feels hard is my fault. I feel all the feelings all the time.
The truth is: I'm doing the best I can. Sometimes my best is awesome. Other times my best is tired, annoyed, and overwhelmed.
The truth is: I so often say to others, "All that you need for the next step is inside you. Trust that truth." I say it because I believe it.
The truth is: I'm remembering that applies to me too.
There is a push and pull in this experience of life, of motherhood, of being human. Each day that push and pull is there. Sometimes you find your footing and the sand beneath the surf doesn't swirl away. Other days you realize you can step onto the boat just waiting for you (do you see it right there beside you). Other days are just hard. And other days, you see the open hand beside you inviting you to step out of the push and pull and rest.
I could go on and on with this image because the push and pull of the waves, of the grief and the joy, of the beauty of every day and the longings inside me...this push and pull is always present within me.
It's a piece of The And Space that I walk through.*
One reason I practice is to create space inside me that feels more centered, grounded, and better able to navigate that push and pull. I hold onto mantras and poems and minutes outside breathing so that I can pause the swirling thoughts and be present to whatever is unfolding, to whatever is ahead. I sit in meditation, write out my thoughts in my many journals, reach out to you with a story, capture life through my lens to make sense of it all. These are all pieces of my practice.
While standing on a beach with my daughter last week, reminding her, reminding us, that getting outside and just being together can provide a restart, I remembered that I have time to teach her. I remembered that it doesn't have to look like someone else's life. I remembered that I have to keep practicing so I don't get carried away by the push and pull. I remembered I can continue to give us both the tools to come home to ourselves.
Right now, as we continue to be in this part of our time where we walk side by side, each on our own paths, she often reaches out for my hand but also really wants to walk ahead of me. Sometimes at the same time. Sometimes she really wants me to carry her. There is a deep push and pull at times. And I'm seeing that she feels that too.
So we practice. We practice so we can better navigate and find our way. We practice to find the softness and ease. We practice to find the love.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
*The And Space is what I call this place where we hold onto the beauty and the mess, the joy and the grief. It's this place where we build bridges between the routine of daily life and the longings within. It's where we acknowledge the next steps we want to take. You can read more about it here.
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