One of my favorite writers and bloggers is Rachel Macy Stafford. For a while I had a hard time with her writing, because I identified too much with it. Rachel talks about her choice to move from a life lived by to-do lists and outside measures of achievement, a life that made her stressed and sad and angry, and made her children stressed and sad and angry, to a life focused on choosing love and letting her loved ones know how much she loves them. I felt like my still being caught up in the stress and spinning and awful feelings, meant I was less than she was, that I was a great and dreadful failure at life.
Those feelings still creep in sometimes, but through a lot of work over the last year, including doing Rachel's course Soul Shift (she's offering it again in January!), I am beginning to come out of a very long, painful darkness. I keep telling myself, it's not too late to change. It's not too late to meet your child and your spouse with empathy and love. It's not too late to let go of codependency and manipulation. It's not too late to be happy.
Dear ones, I was afraid to be happy. Sometimes I still am. I somehow ingested a message from all kinds of sources, that I should loathe myself, that I was the least of God's creations, that any self-compassion was a sign of failure and a sin. What a load of dingo's kidneys (no offense to dingoes).
It is not too late. It's not too late to learn to regulate my own emotions. It's not too late to be who I am. To shine my light.
Joy is a worthy goal. Kindness is a worthy goal.
Happiness is not wrong.
Is the world messed up? Lord yes! But we are not going to fix it by hating ourselves and spreading that hatred around. It's gotta be love. Love makes us fierce. Love makes us seek justice. Love makes us reach out to one another.
It's not too late.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.