I wrote this for you. I wrote it for me. I wrote it for those of us who try so hard and do so much.
For those of us who try to “have it all.”
It hurts like hell to try to have it all, doesn’t it?
The pressure alone could crack us.
We rush around at a frantic clip, pleasing everyone in sight. Saying what we should say. Doing what we should do. Being sweet, efficient and polite. Achieving more, more, more. Always more. Always playing perfectly our well-rehearsed roles.
But let’s be honest—
We don’t have it all.
On the inside, we’re shaking. Tired. Falling apart. We’re fantastically human. We don’t have it all figured out. And goodness, yes!—it can be so freeing and empowering to admit that.
Besides, what does it even mean to have it all?
Does it mean maintaining a life that’s busy, expensive, stressful, hollow and costs us our health and sanity—but looks pretty on the outside?
Does it mean setting our truth aside to do sh*t we not-so-secretly hate?
Does it mean looking shiny and successful to the world, but feeling disconnected from the juiciness of our own hearts?
And if we’re disconnected from our hearts—then what does any of it even stand for?
Maybe to have it all has absolutely nothing to do with pretending we’re superwoman and being busy as a bee. Maybe it’s much simpler, more heartfelt, more deliciously soulful than that. Maybe it’s infinitely more magical. Maybe it’s a single moment.
So, sit back. Inhale. Exhale.
Let these words take you home to your self:
The modern woman is stressed out, burned out, exhausted, pulled apart, stretched thin—and just numb enough to believe she has it all.
She does not have it all.
Maybe she has a career, a husband, a couple of kids, fabulous parties to attend and fabulous shoes to wear to impress fabulous people as she sparkles like a four-karat diamond in the dazzling brilliance of booze-soaked midnight, but she does not have it all.
She has nothing, nada, zilch—for she does not even have her self.
No, she does not have it all.
She is cut off, disconnected, in denial of her flow—her femininity, her wisdom, her fierceness, her heart, her beauty, her anger, her bursting love, her booming voice.
She’s great at masking what’s natural and real with the resigned shrug of her shoulders, the empty, loaded sentence, “I’m fine.”
She’s well-versed at holding back the seas of swirling emotion cascading inside her—because feeling is dangerous—because a curt, vacant smile is what she thinks the world expects of her.
She is so afraid to be—gasp!—fully honest with herself. And others.
But deep inside, she knows something is very wrong.
She feels the consequence of this numb, non-authentic, zombified existence late at night when the emptiness comes.
When she’s alone, in the pitch darkness after midnight, a vacancy she cannot name spins in her chest like a black hole. It aches like a fresh bruise.
And she knows everything is wrong.
For she is not living up to the fiercest potential of her soul. At all.
And she knows it.
When the emptiness comes, when the pain comes, when the grief comes pouring in like sheets of rain, it blesses her with truth. It rinses away the thin veneer of her fake smile.
And she digs into tears, into the gorgeous flesh of her authenticity.
She wonders what the f*ck she is doing…
What is she living for?
What does she stand for?
What does her heart, her soul, her voice—sound like, feel like, taste like?
What is she passionate about, what does she need? Crave? Thirst for?
Questions so juicy, they drip down her chin like a ripe mango. She bites right in.
Because she longs to not be so busy; so polite; so productive; so responsible.
She longs to rip up her almighty to-do list, feel her toes kiss the grass and smell evergreens and honeysuckle like nature’s sweetest perfume and run wild with the wind dancing through her hair and express herself truthfully and let her heart pour out and know what it is to be free.
She longs to sit alone in silence under a giant oak tree and read a thousand books and do something that isn’t for someone else.
She longs to know what it is to be free.
But then, morning comes. With the fading blood orange sunrise, her insights seep away into the bright light of day. They dissolve and turn into ghosts as the horizon comes into view.
Another day. The same old routine. She puts her mask back on. The lively sparks of question marks disappear—and the thought of thinking about her self seems impossible. It seems wildly unnecessary, like something she simply has no time for. Because she has to not be herself to get through the day.
She has so much to do, so many obligations to fulfill, so many people to please—and no time to feel.
One day, she won’t be able to hide from feeling anymore. Or from her self anymore.
Maybe that day is today.
Because she doesn’t have to live like this.
She has a choice. And she knows it.
Because she can have it all—in a real way. In a deep-down delicious, sustainable, gorgeously fulfilling way.
She can have her heart.
Her voice. Her truth. Her soul. Her love. Her destiny.
And one day—maybe today—the gentle, gushing waters of truth will pour through her skin and break down the sticky gates of her sequined self-denial.
She won’t be able to hold it together so convincingly.
And she will fall completely, beautifully apart. She will sob on the bathroom floor and feel utterly alone. She will no longer be able to hold her lips in the beaming shape of that rehearsed, really not real smile. She will no longer be able to hold everyone else’s broken pieces together while she wilts under the crushing pressure of it all.
She will lose control. She will scream in sacred anger and become fully responsible for her self.
She will feel.
And in feeling, in falling apart—
She will come home to her self.
This is sublime. It is healing. It is painful. It is perfect.
Because in feeling—in falling apart, she will fall together in the most beautiful way. The most real way.
It will be the most honest thing she has done in years.
It will be a sacred destruction—
A creative becoming. A grand masterpiece of messy wholeness.
It will mark the start of her real life—
A life lived from the quaking center of her heart. A life lived, not for others. Not to look good. Or seem put together to the rest of the world. It will be a life where she no longer needs to hide or pretend or wear any costumes at all. A life based on freedom. Soul. Connection. Honesty. The pure, wild vibrancy of self-expression itself.
It will be a life—a goddamn ripe, luscious, fulfilling life—
Made breathtakingly beautiful by honoring her self.
Because by honoring her self,
She can love.
She can feel.
She can shine.
She can grow.
She can give.
She can surrender.
She can soar—
She can have it all. In a real way. A deep-down, delicious, fulfilling, sustainable way.
She can have it all.
Without compromising her soul.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editors: Catherine Monkman; Emily Bartran