Know Thy Shittiness
Hi Friends! Today you get a post from my dear friend, Maggie. I expect Maggie to be a regular contributor around here. Let me introduce her, and you will get to know and love her as much as I do! Maggie and I have been friends almost a decade. She's totally a WWGSD - she's an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a wife, a mom, and one of those fantastic friends you know you can call when you need a good listener. Or someone to set you straight (she's really freaking good for that!). Maggie has this amazing presence -she is soft and caring, but FREAKING POWERFUL. I wish I could be like Maggie. I think you'll feel very much the same way as you get to know her.
It is Sunday. Today I got up, I got a shower, got dressed and then walked in to my sweet almost two year old and his two sisters in their bedroom still with sleepy eyes, but ready to start the day. I got them dressed. I got them breakfast. I packed them in the car and we headed to church. My husband works at the church. This means that every Sunday I get my kids ready and get them to church on my own. This used to suck, but I am in a better place mentally, emotionally, and all the things, so most Sundays it sucks less.
This Sunday I went to church and after church kissed all my babies good bye and told the child care providers and Sunday school teachers that when all the other kids were gone to take my crew down to their dad. Then I went home and let the dog out to pee and ordered an uber to take me to the airport, threw my last remaining items in my bag and headed to the door just as the uber driver was pulling up.
I am sure you are thinking, “this is the worst blog ever. I don’t need to know this ladies play by play of her boring day.”
But I promise I am going somewhere.
I arrived at the airport, met a new friend, another woman I was traveling with from our church and had lunch with her and got to know her better. Then I sat with the rest of our traveling crew and got to know them while we waited for our flight. On the flight I listened to music and wrote my story for an upcoming speaking gig. The topic of this workshop is "story." So I spent two hours thinking about myself and why I am so compelling. I was pleased with this use of time and I felt energized.
We got our luggage, rode in a hot taxi and checked in to our hotel. Then we decided we had just enough time to go to Whole Foods for a few incidental food items for this week long training. I ordered the Uber and coordinated the group, went to Whole Foods and was back in enough time to go straight to the banquet dinner.
At this point I have been fully present in my day for 10 hours. I have gone to church with three kids and traveled across the country with five other people. By the end of the banquet dinner I was stuffed (literally) and agitated. I wanted to complain about everything. Maybe I could find one of my other fellow travelers and blow off some steam.
I was feeling it. I was feeling that feeling I get when I go to things like this. I feel it when I am untethered from my family and my sense of self starts to get lost. Oh and did I mention I was probably tired from the day I had? The worst part is that now I know that feeling that I get, and I feel worse after I indulge it. I have that shame that washes over me. Because in no way do I feel better when I act on those feelings. I still feel all the same things but now I feel worse for what a jerk I am.
So I walked. I did not indulge my impulse to go down to my fellow traveler's room to blow off some steam and I didn’t think of the eight thousand awful things I wanted to think about. I just walked. I walked enough to realize I'd locked myself out of my room. So I walked to the front desk and got a new key. And the guy said, “Already?!” when I told him I lost my key. And I said, “Yep.” Nothing to see here folks. No drama unfolding. I am just getting my new key from this blamey man and I am walking along.
This time I took the elevator. When I arrived at my room I was struck by the silence and the 15 minutes I needed to spend with my gross feeling self before returning to the conference. I didn’t like the way my hair was braided, so I fixed it and it was worse. Before trying again, I decided to turn on some music because I am alone and get to listen to whatever I want! I turned on Pink. If you’re agitated there is no one better than Pink to sing to your soul. I listened to “I Am Here” while I finished my hair. It looked good. Then I danced. I jumped and danced and played in my room to come back into myself.. to know myself.
This is me. I am silly and I dance out loud and I braid my hair. And I am tired and agitated and want to do dumb things that seem pretty fair and reasonable at the time. But they're dumb.
I need one more thing before I headed back down to the conference room. I texted three people and told them:
I am at this training that church sent me on. It’s exhausting. And at these things I sometimes start to feel widely untethered and annoyed. So I had a break and went to my room and listened to pink, danced, and braided my hair for fun and now I feel better and I don’t want to tear down everyone here or gossip or complain. Learning self care so I don’t lean into the gross parts of myself that leave me poisoned. #winning
And here were their replies:
Love this. You have been on my heart today. Glad you are taking time for yourself.
Well done! And that braid is gorgeous!
I LOVE THIS!!! These are the things I want you to write in the blog.
And then I went back down to the conference and became a decent human being again.
This is how we make the world a better place people. We love ourselves enough to know our shittiness and then we love ourselves hard through that. Sometimes even with braids and dancing, but always with other people who show up for us.
We don’t learn about our shittiness if we aren’t safe enough with ourselves to embrace it. If I had been mean to myself when my crap self appeared, then I would continue to forever have crap versions of myself I live into. Only when I learn to treat myself well, can I see those crap selves and politely say "no thanks."