Sometimes with these abstract ideas that argue for a deeper story it is easy to be stuck in the idealist world. Straightforward problems with logical answers, often falling into false dichotomies that say things are either one way or the other. Never both.
But that just isn’t the case.
The human experience is so utterly variable. We all know that even in joy there is sorrow, even in pain there can be great joy, altruism and selfishness, hope and despair, faith and unbelief. There seems to be no limit to what feelings or situations we can experience all at once.
The same is true for mothering or parenting. It can be our greatest joy and our biggest challenge. It can be a joy and it can be difficult. It can be our life and we can not always want to be there. We can love our people and want a break from our people. We can want a break and still choose to show up.
We can be any variety of things and still be a good mother.
We can be a devoted mother and still be any variety of other things.
Maybe this is straight-forward, but for it is something I had to choose. I had to choose to allow myself to be all the things even when they seem at odds. I choose the tension in my beliefs. I choose to belief in things that seem contradictory and trust that God is the one who will bring it all together.
I found this exercise of making ‘Yes, I .. ‘ statements to be helpful for seeing the nuance in my life and freeing to consider all the possibilities. Writing this list brought me a little more confidence and freedom about who I am.
If you want to try it, just begin each sentence with the phrase: “yes, I … ” and write until you feel done. Maybe 10 or 15 minutes. My list happened a few thoughts at a time over the course of an afternoon while brainstorming about this series.
Here’s mine, no particular order except this is the order I thought of them in. It’s more an experiment in claiming things than anything else.
- Yes, I am a feminist.
- Yes, I will approach conflict with nuanced hope.
- Yes, I will say I can or I won’t.
- Yes, I will try new things, explore, and grow.
- Yes, I do declare we are free and whole.
- Yes, I love Jesus.
- Yes, I want.
- Yes, I am whole.
- Yes, I give the benefit of the doubt.
- Yes, I love.
- Yes, I sacrifice.
- Yes, I am free.
- Yes, I will learn.
- Yes, I do things just for me.
- Yes, I read.
- Yes, I believe in their potential.
- Yes I believe in hope.
- Yes, I trust myself to others.
- Yes, I run.
- Yes, I choose dreams.
- Yes, I trust myself.
- Yes, I trust God to carry us and make it ok.
- Yes, I live in the cracks and everywhere.
- Yes, I will show up.
- Yes, I will apologize.
- Yes, I write.
- Yes, I am here.
- Yes, I take up space.
- Yes, I am worthy and worth it.
- Yes, I will venture through hardship.
- Yes, I will be brave.
- Yes, I will change my mind, but God will change my heart.
- Yes, I will feel: broken, sad, depleted, tired, joyful, loved, loving, grace, intent.
- Yes, I will see the tension and not shy away.
What would you put on your list? Share below?
This month I am joining the #write31days community to explore the idea of the Whole Together Family because I believe we get be who God created us to be – together. Find the whole list posts here or click on the image.