I set my intention to live love. I really do. I want to be fair, loving, supportive and all things good and true. My life just doesn’t always work out that way.
I love to read British blogger Hollie Holden, who also strives to be an example of love as she raises her young children and runs a busy household. In “Hollie Holden’s Notes on Living and Loving” on Facebook, she not only gives her unique perspective on daily life, she does something very brave. She shares the “messy bits.” She shares the days her house is a wreck, describes sticky spills all over the kitchen floor, the days she’s too harsh with herself and even the massive crack in the wall that needs to be fixed. Regular life stuff. But the stuff we seldom post on social media amid our positive quotes and beautiful vacation photos. Recently, she did something radical.
She wrote, “Wouldn't Facebook be more interesting if it were called realbook? #lessphotosofkaleandmountaintopyogaposes #morephotosofthemessybits #whatlifeactuallylookslike #weareallinthistogether”
WOW. She’s gutsy. I love how honest she is when describing the “ups” and “downs” of life. I find it refreshing and helpful. But could I do that? Could I share my messy bits? I’ve shared some, but I’m private and most of my messy bits stay deep under cover.
I decided to give it a go.
In the last month: I broke a tooth and got my first crown, had mild food poisoning, found a six foot black snake in my house (two feet from my face when I was on the floor looking under the couch), lived through an “unexpected appliance death” and had to buy a new washer and dryer, had my 25 year old son recuperating at our house for five days after having four impacted wisdom teeth removed, whined to my sister that I feel stuck and really don’t know what hell I’m doing, forgot to meditate a few days and was mad at myself for needing to wear my “fat jeans.”
There. I’ve said it.
Now I know how the Wizard of Oz felt when Toto pulled back the curtain.
I don’t like it.
I don’t like showing my vulnerable side. It’s not that I want to hide that I’m, um, human…it’s that when life gets crazy, I do my best to see past the messy bits. And that’s what I want to focus on.
I look to see what I have to be grateful for in each situation. I do my best to accept any lessons or new learning opportunities that are presented. I notice what my triggers are so I can move past them. I strive to allow love to guide my reactions. That’s my intent anyway.
OK, that didn’t work out too well with the snake thing. I screamed. A lot. My brave husband did catch the snake and return it unharmed to the woods outside our house. He did that out of love for me. And because he was afraid I was going to have a heart attack.
When I calmed down, guess what I discovered about seeing a snake? According to several spiritual texts, snakes are a symbol of rebirth, new beginnings and healing. Hmmm. Not a bad sign if it hadn’t been real and in my face. Maybe I need to spend a bit more time experiencing the messy bits, to fully understand what wisdom is there for me? Maybe by acknowledging and sitting in the mess, the real treasure of it is revealed. Thanks to people like Hollie, I’m a bit more comfortable exposing my messes.
I‘ve gained new perspectives from each of the little challenges I’ve shared here and for that, I am grateful. Even for the snake. DISCLAIMER: I’m still hard at work on being grateful for the fat jeans.
Here’s to celebrating all of life, every beautiful little messy bit.