Gratitude for Not Knowing
I never knew my life would be like this after all the mess I had to move through.
My house is quiet right now. All I can hear around me is the whirring of heat soaring through the vents. My children are in bed. After a very noisy day inside, it feels refreshing not to hear much of anything right now. I love the aliveness of the house when the kids are up, jumping, spinning, and clamoring around. It's intense and, at times, frustrating, but the unwavering noise reminds me that I am alive to see, hear, and witness them. And—I also have a profoundly visceral relationship with the gift of silence that comes at bedtime. As an only child, I've never experienced what my children are experiencing in their childhood. It's beautiful to see the girls together. Today, I quietly watched them all pile up on the couch to watch Disney movies. My oldest, who is 14, is an icon to her younger sisters (ages 3 and 2). Whenever she emerges out of her room to spend time with them, it's like the world stops.
I never knew my life would be like this—full of devotion, family, and gratitude for all the mess I had to move through to get here. The pictures in this newsletter are from 2017. My heart was the most broken it had been in years. I was walking through excruciating emotional pain, and I had no clue where life would take me. At the time, life felt like such a heavy lift, and I felt like I did not have the strength to push through. These photos were taken in Joshua Tree by a woman I was friends with. I randomly went through the album from that trip this morning and smiled a smile of relief. Being where I am today and getting through a time that I didn't think I would survive brings massive feelings of gratitude to my heart. There were a lot of times like that in my life where I was convinced getting up after a fall or let down was impossible. I'm reminded by these pictures that nothing is unattainable, even when there is deep emotional pain that no one else can see.
Being grateful for my struggles wasn't this easy whimsical thing. It was and still is a work in practice. I wish none of us had to struggle or know pain as intimately as we do. But over the years, as I've leaned deeper into my healing and inner transformation, I've grown to understand that I wouldn't know the joy and ease that I have now without the shadows of my life. One of my biggest takeaways from this journey of intentional and grateful living is that life isn't always easy, but I will not let it break me down. I spent so many years broken that I am no longer willing to be in pieces—my peace is too valuable. The legacy that I am building for my children is too precious not to rise back up. On the other side of suffering, the beauty and light are too breathtaking to not try again tomorrow.
Not long after these photos were snapped, I remember taking a shower and crying. I was putting on such a big front for the women I was with. Neither of them knew what I was going through emotionally. If I could go back and mentor myself through what I was dealing with, I would say, you don't have to know what to say or how to feel, but you don't have to walk through your pain alone. So often, we wear veils of contentment with hopes of no one truly seeing us or what we're carrying. However, we deserve to be seen and held and cared for with or without a broken heart or struggle at hand. I hope we start to normalize the beauty in not knowing and being supported through the unknown paths that we encounter.
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