“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”~Romans 12:2
Exhale. Thank you again, Lord, for these wise words.
I was deep in the process of improving my mind, and feeling a strong resistance to society’s pressures. I was in a battle, and this verse took on the fight for me, and I felt a sense of peace, and letting go…it finally had arrived.
Maybe you can relate…my early days as a mom were lost in baby snuggles and giggles, and pure awe at the miracle of our gift. As my kids are now approaching the teen years, the thought of baby smell, snuggles and diapers, sounds so simple.
Keeping Up is Exhausting
As the years rolled on, and the babies grew, it seemed to speed up, and we began the pace of keeping up. “Keeping up” takes on many different forms, and can look different for all of us. It is not always a bigger house, or better car. It can just be saying yes to everything. Saying yes when you want to say no. Feeling like you are going to miss out, or be left out. Trying to be the mom that “does it all”, or just doing what you think you should do ALL THE TIME.
Even though “keeping up” looks different for each of us, we still experience the same feelings when trying to keep up. “Keeping up” is exhausting, confusing at times, unsettling, and for many of us, not fulfilling at all. We become unhappy in a sense, conflicted, and not sure as to why. As busy as you are, you lose a sense of purpose, clarity and passion.
Let’s be honest. It is easy to end up on the train of “what everyone else is doing”, while wondering “what everyone else is thinking”, if you aren’t careful. It is a natural progression to “just do” what the other mothers, families, and kids are doing. Add in comparison, and you might as well just throw your joy and energy out the window.
You Get to Choose
At first, it seems easier, and comfortable, to go with the flow of what is expected, or what “everyone is doing”. Of course, our kids want to do what others are doing, or at least they “think” they do.
I bet you’ve been pressured at some point. Many moms, don’t even stop to think that there is a possibility of a different choice. I talk to moms all the time, that can’t find it in them to say no. They become frustrated, and resentful. You might relate.
Let me say it again…YOU get to choose. You can say no anytime, and maybe, just maybe, sometimes it is a yes.
Listen, I know It can be scary for some of us to choose differently. It can be extremely difficult. It is usually unpopular, and not always supported, or encouraged, in the way that you need. So you just say yes.
You might stay in a group that makes you feel less than, uncomfortable, or maybe has different values than you. You like them, but aren’t sure if they really enjoy you, as you. You keep saying yes, when you really want to say, no thanks.
Have you ever found yourself just giving up on what you truly want? Because to make that unpopular choice, or go against what someone else wants, or to keep looking for that place where you are authentically accepted, can be really hard work.
But one thing is for sure… what we crave and are longing for is support, encouragement, and a safe community where we feel free to be ourselves.
Let’s be honest…
Just because you are in a community or group, doesn’t mean you feel comfortable and included.
Just because someone is nice, doesn’t mean you feel free to be yourself.
Just because someone invites you, doesn’t mean you feel accepted.
Can you relate?
I have felt all of these. It is not that you don’t like your group. It is not that you think you are better. It is not that they aren’t fun, kind and encouraging. It is usually that deep down, you are just longing for more. I found that my “more”, was actually a whole lot less in many ways.
As much as this might seem out of reach, or not possible, or just not right…your heart and soul are speaking to you, and God knows that “more” is possible for you.
The beauty is…you will eventually find acceptance, inclusion and encouragement. You might just have to look elsewhere, and it might take time and patience, but it will be worth it.
Keep Looking for Your “More”
Be honest. If trying to “keep up” and saying yes all of the time is wearing you out…you need to take time to pause, and truly think about your days and where you are spending your time. Look at what you have planned, and what offers you have, and take time to envision being there, and how it makes you feel. Does it lift your energy, and your spirits? Can you truly be yourself?
Let’s get real…there are commitments we have to do. But, there are also commitments, that we just feel pressured to do. You have to determine what you are just feeling pressured to do, that might not be the best for you and your energy. Our energy is extremely valuable. You have permission to protect it, because YOU get to decide what you let in.
Remember, your kids are watching.
Think about it. What do you want to teach your kids about choices?
Start today. Let go of one thing this week that doesn’t fill you up. One thing that actually drains you. When you say no to something you don’t want to do…you open your time up for something you DO want to do.
Or..it might be something you like, but you know your family needs you more this week. Maybe you need a date night, not a girl’s night. Quite possibly, your child needs time with you, rather than you saying yes to something else. Maybe your child needs to help someone out, instead of hanging out today.
Be Intentional Mamas
Take time to pay attention to what YOU and YOUR family are needing this week. Take time to connect with each of them, and with your own heart and soul, before committing to one more thing. If your family is feeling resentful, disconnected or maybe ungrateful…your choice might need to be different this week. Things won’t change, unless you change them.
You get to choose. Choose to live your life to the absolute fullest and be true to your self, and your family.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~Romans 12:2