Life calls me over and over again to loosen my grip, release, exhale, make space for the essential and let go of all the rest.
I don’t want this. What I WANT is for life to feel easy and allow me to follow all my shiny ideas, to say yes to far more like book deals and business products and making more money and looking like I’ve got life figured out.
Instead, my life feels like a journey of letting go of more and more until the truth of who I am or the truth of my life is laid bare. It is uncomfortable and humbling and also I find freedom here.
I let go of rules and expectations I’ve tried to live up to, of pretending I have answers to all my big questions, of sacrificing my deepest dreams or highest priorities for belonging, making others comfortable, or outward success.
I let go of the ways I’ve tried to feel safe in this world, of trying to be “good” or to fit in, of jumping through hoops and squishing myself into an orderly box.
I let go of rushing through my days, of running from grief and heartache or joy and appreciation for who and how I am. I become quieter, I listen more, I glean wisdom that only comes when we quiet all the external noise and the inner clamour and we make space for waiting, not knowing, becoming.
What feels like limitation at first glance is a call to freedom when I look deeper. A reminder that life is not about accomplishment or productivity or even finding our belonging in this world – but it is about journeying toward freedom and love and finding true belonging in the messy and raw spaces of life when pretence is stripped away and I remember I am loved right here in the wild and murky truth of who I am.
I want. I crave. I desire. I yearn. I feel. None of this is wrong. But I live underneath all of this. This is part of being human but it’s not the fullness of who we are. We just are. We are not what we wear, how we speak, the car we drive, the number of social media followers we have, a number on a scale or in a bank account. We are not if our children are all alive and well, if our partner stays faithful, if we have a job we love, or if our bodies are pain-free.
This is not who we are. It is part of our experience but not WHO we are.
I am learning to be more “patient toward all that is unsolved in (my) heart and try(ing) to love the questions themselves” (Rainer Maria Wilke) and to showing up fully, mining for the wisdom and gifts of every single season. To laying down the burdens that are not mine to carry, to breaking open the shackles that keep me bound, to coming face to face with the reality of life that sometimes feels built to break us, and to keep choosing freedom.
I make space for freedom with every exhale.
I’ve started embracing my love of writing “micro stories” – unedited, unfiltered, honest snapshots of my life in progress, shared first on social media. These posts are shorter than normal, without all the fixings, and can be found by selecting the category “snapshots: a life in progress.”