For years I have struggled. As far back as I can remember I have battled a deeply rooted belief that I am not inherently enough….and that in order to be loved, valued, and accepted I need to consistently show up and prove my worthiness.
This belief has been a constant in my life and it’s what has driven my need to achieve, excel and perform in everything I do.
Fortunately, as I’ve navigated through the seasons of my life, I’ve learned, grown, and found freedom in the truth of God’s grace and love.
As I’ve sought to know him more, little by little he’s been faithful to reveal who he created me to be….a beautiful, precious, courageous woman filled with strength, compassion, and love.
But no matter how much you learn and how much you grow, sometimes old habits die hard.
True growth is a never-ending process….one that requires a wholehearted willingness to keep showing up, to get uncomfortable and to continue cutting away anything that is keeping you stuck where you are.
The Breaking Point
Earlier this year, I found myself in a familiar place. After trying to do it all, be it all and have it all for so many years, striving, chasing, and pursuing the kind of “more” that I thought would fill the voids I was feeling in my life, my body (and mind) finally broke down screaming at me, “Enough is enough!”
I’d pushed myself too far for too long and couldn’t keep up anymore. I had long since reached the end of my capacity, and the weight of that realization was absolutely crushing.
I felt like a failure and a disappointment. I felt broken. I felt like all those things I’d grown up thinking about myself were true….that my best just wouldn’t ever be enough, so why bother continuing to try?
I felt like the captain of a sinking ship, desperately searching for a way to turn things right side up, but fearing with every passing moment that I was just too far gone.
Some days were okay….I woke up, made breakfast, took care of the kids, did my work, and continued to get by on the fumes of sheer willpower and determination.
Some days I even felt like myself, hopeful that maybe I had turned a corner, the puzzle pieces of my life were finally coming together, and soon I’d be able to breathe a deep, restful sigh of relief.
But then, another day would arrive, and the depression, anxiety and overwhelm would paralyze me, freezing me in my tracks so I couldn’t move forward, backward, up, or down.
It was like I was stuck behind a glass wall, watching life happen right before my eyes, desperately longing to break through and step into the abundant life I knew in my heart was possible.
But my body and mind were so broken, so depleted, and so disconnected that all I felt in those moments was emptiness. I’d allowed myself to be completely sucked dry as I endeavored to keep it all together.
My world had become chaos, my life was out of control, and I felt completely and totally crazy. I knew I needed to stop….but felt powerless to do so in a world that insisted on continuing to spin around me.
I still had kids and a family to take care of. I still had clients to take care of and work that needed to be done. There were still bills that needed to be paid. And there were still dreams and desires that were calling to me for attention, along with everything else.
The Turning Point
One evening, after a particularly harrowing bout of hyperventilating anxiety attacks that struck while I was home alone with my babies, I knew deep in my core that something had to change - and fast.
The next morning I sat down with my husband, and we came up with a plan…a hard plan, full of choices I didn't want to make, but one that we both knew was long past the point of necessary.
I couldn’t keep going the way that I was….I had to make myself slow down, prioritize my health, figure out what was absolutely essential in this season…..and eliminate the rest.
This of course is much easier said than done, and every day of the past few months has presented a new opportunity to show up and keep choosing to honor myself, my family, my calling and my creator.
Some days I get it right, and other days I fall flat on my face. But as I’ve endeavored to simplify (ironically enough, the word I chose to focus on this year) it has seemed to get a little bit easier with every passing day.
Maybe it’s not the choosing that’s getting easier, but the fact that I’ve finally begun to accept that I don’t have to have it all together.
My life has never been more of a mess than it is right now…..and yet, I know with certainty that I’m exactly where I need to be, learning, growing, and stretching in this season of intentionally simplifying and choosing the kind of “more” that comes from embracing less.
My Invitation to You
I’m learning that sometimes we have to be willing to get messy and uncomfortable in order to reach a place of true peace, joy and wholeness.
I share all of this in the hopes that you might be encouraged to know you’re not the only one who struggles with feeling like you’ll never get your life together.
If you’ve ever felt like you can’t seem to get ahead, no matter how hard you try or how many of the “right” things you do, you’re not alone.
Life can be really, really hard sometimes….but I’m here to remind you (and myself) that you can do hard things.
And more often than not, the answer to our troubles lies in slowing down, breathing deeply from a place of faith, hope and grace, and focusing back in on the things that matter most.
That is the journey that I find myself on right now, and the journey that I invite you to join me on....
.....a journey of choosing to prioritize the things that matter most and let go of the rest.
.....a journey of learning to walk in grace, working toward progress, not perfection.
.....and a journey of embracing simplicity in pursuit of a life well-lived.
So what do you say....are you in?