Breathing Room Blog Book Club — Chapter 15
First you are a precious soul. Real gold. And I mean that. I doubt anyone has taken the time to tell you that today, so I thought I’d offer those words of truth to you this Friday.
A week ago, I spoke to a room of moms on the topic of “mom guilt.” We all got these keychains at the event:
I said, “It’s time we got out of the ring with ourselves.”
It’s always time. Time to stop, turn toward ourselves, and sit with ourselves as we would a dear friend. It’s time to practice that revolutionary prayer practice of being a companion to ourselves instead of the world’s most rigid critic. We all laughed and we all cried together because if there’s anything in this world that is more immediately bonding than mom guilt, I’m sure I don’t know what it is.
I was reminded, as I looked out at dozens of women wiping tears from their cheeks, that we’re all carrying around untold stories in our tender little souls. We’re all holding an entire universe, in fact, right here in our bodies. We see each other’s skin and eyes and hair and clothing. But deeper still are stories. And they are no joke. Every last one of them. (Let’s remember that as we go about our day. Especially when we hit up against that really intolerable person. We are all fighting something.)
We’re all carrying around a weight that is heavy. Heavier, likely, than we were ever meant to bear. Some of us are carrying around unspeakable weight that we need to attend to. Refusing to turn toward our own burdens is just one more way we stay in the ring with ourselves, bully ourselves into picking up that pack every day and forcing ourselves to march.
In Chapter 15 of Breathing Room, I talk about the difference between letting go and marching on. This is not a concept, a theory, a once-and-for-all. This is a daily practice. The daily prayer practice of letting love and comfort seep into our souls instead of just pushing forward pushing forward pushing forward.
In the chapter, I tell the story of my dear friend Rickelle, who is the inspiration for the title and much of what I wrote in that piece. She shared more of her story on my blog in 2012. In fact, she wrote the most gorgeous letter (in Part 2 below) to all of us. I could not finish it all in one sitting because of the sheer depth and beauty of it. If you’d like to read more about Rickelle’s story and the loss of her gorgeous baby boy, Lake, you can read more here:
Today, I’m so very thankful that we have each other. We have the gift of company and companionship in this life. That brings me such great comfort. I hope it brings you comfort too. We have the opportunity to spill open — let go — and let the hope arrive.
With love upon love,
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