Here I am sharing my feelings again. It’s so much easier for me to share them in writing. I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it before!
I love this community, because we are all so supportive. I have a feeling that many of you will want to build me up and give me some encouragement after you read this. However, I challenge you to NOT do that (actually, I’m honestly asking you not to). If you feel like commenting, I challenge you to comment about what your extraordinary is. Don’t worry about me! After wrestling with these thoughts for a few weeks, I am in a content space 😊.
Here’s the background info: A few weeks ago, I read an article about amazing women who had done extraordinary things with their lives. Given that I am passionate about women supporting women, dabbled in gender studies in school and see myself as a feminist, you’d think that this article would have filled me with joy. Unfortunately, my “glasses” took over as I absorbed the words. (If you aren’t familiar with “glasses,” refer to the Mind Body podcast for details. In summary it is a lens, usually from childhood, through which we view the world. We tend to put our “glasses” on when we feel insecure or are in conflict). One of my many pairs of “glasses” is the belief that I am a disappointment: no matter what I do, I could do more, and whatever I’ve done could be done better. Not surprisingly, with those “glasses” on, I felt like an unaccomplished pile of crap after reading that article. My brain knew that the right thing to do was celebrate these women, but my heart was sad. I sat with that and wondered about the value of my life and if anything I did really mattered. The words “ordinary life” just kept running through my mind, and I let myself quietly sulk about it for a bit. Now I’m sick of talking with myself about it (ha!), and I want to open the conversation to you. I’m certain all of us have felt this way. I don’t know what to call this piece of writing. It’s basically just the conversation in my head from the past few weeks. I suppose we can call it a stream of consciousness piece?
[Disclaimer: My point is not to dim the light of others to make myself more comfortable. We should absolutely celebrate one another. This is a story about me being triggered and then processing my insecurity about never accomplishing enough.] An Extraordinary Woman
I read a story about extraordinary women the other day
Each one changing the world in positive ways
Each one acknowledged for their achievements, progressive actions and professional drive
Each one wildly unique
They will be remembered
They have made it
I was amazed by each of their stories and read each one excitedly
I paused at the end
I hate to admit this, but rather than celebrating their accomplishments, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness and defeat
Insecurity, jealousy and other dark attributes I wish I didn’t have took over as I realized
I may never do anything as extraordinary as the women I read about
Today may be my only day
I may never be doing more than what I am doing right now
My mind is plagued with dreams of doing MORE
What if this is it?
What if this is my extraordinary?
Is that enough?
Can I be happy with an ordinary life?
Why is the word ordinary so painful for me to say and accept?
Am I enough if no one ever writes a story about me?
Am I enough if I grow old and quietly leave this earth with no legacy?
Does that make my life any less valuable?
The pressure to do BIG things with this ONE life is overwhelming sometimes.
It’s scarier for me to be a human being than a human doing
I dismiss every accomplishment, brush it off as not enough, thus making it impossible to accept where I am
It is time to let
the fact that my body knows to keep breathing even though I never consciously tell it to,
the fact that I use approximately 17 muscles to smile and approximately 30 muscles to laugh or cry,
the fact that my mind writes and produces vivid dreams while I am sleeping and
the fact that my brain constantly takes in information then tells my mouth how to put words together
If I close my eyes and quiet the noise around me, what is important to me?
When there is no social media, when there is no one telling me good job, what am I drawn to?
Am I being driven by an insecure need to achieve, or am I listening to my own voice?
My voice will lead me to my extraordinary.
Throw away this never-ending measuring stick of enough
Can’t you see that there is no end to it?
I could exhaust my entire life searching for that end
Only to never measure as enough
I exist in this space, time and body
Even if I never uncover the reason for my existence,
The mystery of existing itself is extraordinary.
Of course I attached this processing to a song. As soon as I started unpacking these feelings, I remembered these lyrics, “How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.” Saturn by Sleeping at Last. I will come back to that phrase again and again when I begin to question my significance in this big world. The video is quite beautiful as well.
Big picture reflections:
1-What is YOUR extraordinary?
2-When someone else does/says/writes something that makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself WHY does this make me uncomfortable? That’ll take you on a journey!