The Softer Way

Learning to not make life more difficult than it has to be

Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash

I watch her sleep, her belly rising and falling sweetly. There’s a beautiful rhythm to it. I sense my breath matching hers. She moves and makes a funny face. I smile. There is peace in this moment but it’s fleeting because this house won’t clean itself and the time to get things done is when she’s sleeping.

He’s so peaceful as he lay on the cool concrete. I can tell he’s dreaming because his paws are twitching and his eyes are moving back and forth under half open lids. I love the smile on his face when he brings the ball back to me, nudging me so I’ll give it another fling. But I become bored and the ball is dirty and he keeps putting it in my lap. I tell him to chill.

The way she moves mesmerizes me. Her reflexes. Her natural instincts, how effortlessly she performs under pressure. How does she slide like that and get right up? SAFE! But she’s sixteen and I only get a few minutes to celebrate with her because there are friends to see, snaps to send and texts to answer.

These moments make up my life. And while sometimes I’ve lived in them, other times I’ve pushed them away. The agendas, work, chores, tasks and worries demand my attention. They speak louder than the softer way.

I recognize the heartache. I recognize myself as the chief cause of it.

I want things to be a certain way. I hold firm in my belief that one way — this way — is the best way.

I grow disappointed in life not giving me what I want, need or expect.

I question everything.

I make myself crazy.

I hold myself accountable, to a higher standard.

I’m hard on myself.

I feel responsible for other people’s behavior.

I talk to fill up the space, to make things okay, to help ease the uncomfortableness of the silence.

I spout my knowledge in the false belief that others will like me because of how smart I am.

I stay fixated on one thing.

I work past the time I should because it needs to be done, and done well.

I ask questions to the point of annoyance.

I pick up everything and put it away, because God forbid the house be out of order.

I incessantly check social media posts and sent text messages for responses.

I hold so tightly onto everything dear, as though the grip will make it all turnout the way I want.

I’m tired of …

Trying. Pretending. Holding on. Keeping it together. Feeling sad. Pushing harder. Doing one more thing to make it right. Having to know it all. Overthinking. Overworking. Missing out on life. Censoring myself. Perfectionism.

I’m tired of MYSELF in many ways, this self-made belief that I must be a certain way.

I recognize there is a softer way.

And it’s simply this: PRESENCE. And knowing less.

And being okay with not knowing.

The softer way welcomes all.

It knows that everything is already okay.

It doesn’t yell.

It doesn’t stand out. It’s subtle.

It loves. It IS love.

It’s who I am at my core — when I get out of my own way.

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