Expand and Include
Sometimes I feel the world sway under my feet. I knew so many things when I was 22, 34, 41… The stuff I didn’t know came in waves, and like the ocean, the questions came in sets. I’d have one question and it would expand into a series, each one more confounding and nuanced, and even contradictory, than the next.
I was, for instance, a co-sleeping, on demand breast-feeder until my fourth baby broke me. I hadn’t had to test my beliefs to that degree—four kids under 7, a bedwetter, pregnant again, a toddler still nursing, a baby who needed to be attached to my body in order to sleep. I became desperately sleep-deprived.
Broke me, busted up everything I had so smugly known. I looked outside my approved literature and circle of authority because the former answers couldn’t contain my new reality. It felt dangerous and disloyal…and liberating.
And it’s been just like that thousands of times since. A day dawned in my late forties when I saw things differently—that no belief or practice comes pure. No one way solves all the iterations of need. Everything we “know” is contingent on interpretation and context.
In fact, if someone says a thing is 100 percent true, you can be sure that’s context too. It’s a way to get you to pretend you didn’t choose or shouldn’t think for yourself or can’t vary your practice or belief, else you lose membership in the “club.”
I woke up today thinking about how important it is to expand and include. When you run out of options, go outside the safety of what no longer serves. Life gets tight and unworkable when we trap ourselves into rigid systems unrelated to the complexity of being a unique self. We have options. We have choices. We are not alone. We can find well-being. It’s not up to them. It’s up to us.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!