For most of my life I’ve had two women living in me.
Two sides that were constantly at war. Two sides I believed I had to choose between, but couldn’t. And this kept me in a state of incongruency within myself that felt like being stuck in a never ending loop… until it finally hit me, that I didn’t HAVE to choose… but let me back up a bit.
I was raised by a feminist. My mother had ambition and taught me to be fiercely independent and to recognize and buck oppressive systems whenever I got the chance. But I was also raised by my grandmother, who spent her life making sure everyone was fed and nourished and happy before she even took a single bite, and would always be the very last to sit and eat.
I loved both of these women with my whole entire heart, they both were hero’s to me in different ways. I could not possibly choose one of them over the other, but for most of my life, deep down, I believed I had to.
Now that I am an adult woman, these two seemingly opposing sides of me are not external anymore, they are no longer playing out in the bodies of my mother and grandmother… now they are playing out inside of me. Playing out as seemingly warring opposites and an impossible choice to make.
Even though my logical mind knows I don’t really have to choose, my heart had not seen a middle way for itself, and we need to see things for ourselves before we can embody belief in them, so I didn’t really believe both could exist side by side within me in harmony.
Both of these women served and inspired, in so many ways, for so many people. Both of these women made their own choices and sacrifices and had their own gifts, joys and triumphs. Both of them faced many challenges that were the same, and also different. Both of them loved each other deeply, but also judged each other, and felt hurt and abandoned by each other. I could not bring them together in real life, so how could I bring them together now in me?
The answer came quietly one morning as we drove up the coast of Washington through the fog and a sorely needed rainfall… these women already loved each other, served each other, and had worked together in harmony all this time…they just didn’t know it. They both nurtured something to life in each other and in the world. They both broke rules, and surpassed their own limitations, each in their own ways. And they both loved and cared for people fiercely.
These two sides, that are now living in me, take care of each other. In reality they have never existed apart. They, just like my mother and grandmother, were just made to believe that they were either too much, or not enough, instead of the precious indispensable parts of the whole that they are. They are different, but they carry the same love and devotion in their heart.
They are both perfectly imperfect human expressions in this fleeting and yet infinite grand symphony of life.
There is a middle way.
A both/and instead of an either/or.
And for me that looks like a reconciliation inside me—a coming together of two halves of the same heart. An honoring of their differences, and the ways in which those differences fueled and fed each other in seen and unseen ways.
On the day my grandma died, I stood beside her hospital bed, looking into the eyes of this woman I’d adored all my life, steadying herself to depart this world. She looked ready, but also frightened of the unknown that she was entering. She whispered to me and my sister through her oxygen mask, that my mother had broken her heart.
It was the tangible utterance of something I’d always known, and a pain I’ve carried with me to this day.
Her words hung in the air, like thirty years of things unsaid. She had the look of a child, letting out a secret hurt. She was sorry, I could tell, she wished it had been different, though she didn’t say so. Because she just didn’t know how to let it go in this life.
Neither did I.
Today I stand on a similar precipice, and I, like her, am both ready and frightened of the unknown that lies before me. The ending of the life that was burdened by this rift is at hand, and the beginning of a new life is in front of me. One where I am neither warrior nor martyr, selfless servant nor spartan, not my grandmother, nor my mother… just me. An intricate blend of both tapestries, just as they were of their own mothers and grandmothers before them. None of us were ever just one or the other, but a unique expression of all things.
The return of this harmony in me has everything to do with my ability to create an abundant life and business on my terms, and that is why I share it with you.
Because with this sacred union comes the marriage of my desire for a sweet and simple life full of love, and a rich life full of big dreams, and ever blossoming ambition… the ability to make change AND make a home…to create new standards AND create sanctuary.
So many of us have been made to believe it is a choice we have to make, and that may have been true at one time, but it is no longer the case. You can have ambitions, wealth and success AND a sweet and simple life of greater freedom. And it is as simple as your decision and commitment to do so.
Easy? No, not at first.
Because the layers of conditioning you have around your ability to do this will have to peel off like an onion. What this has looked like for me is wave upon wave of emotions I never allowed myself to fully feel crashing upon these shores, and with each waves passing, a gradual gaining of trust in myself, to BE myself, and to forge a radically different future for myself.
How I gain that trust is by making choices that don’t compromise either one of these sides of myself and my desires, even when people say it can’t be done. And each time I see myself succeed at that, I trust in my ability to do so a little more. And my capacity to have more, in all areas of my life, expands.
So today I stand with the spirit of my grandmother, and the spirit of my mother, and the spirit of all the mothers and grandmothers and daughters and sisters before… and I welcome you to a new world of choices, for all of humankind.
Our current liberation is largely mental, and has yet to be truly embodied on many levels. We think we’re free but still carry the chains of the past in our hearts. But we do not have to wait for the world to change before we can, and it is my great passion to awaken that change with love, hope and a deep immoveable knowing of the infinite possibilities for us all.
I know my grandmothers and mother are with me in that. And that even if they weren’t, I am finally with myself—-heart and eyes wide open—leaping, yet again, into the wild unknown.