“Get very clear about what you offer and then show up with it, 100 percent.” ~ Jessamyn Turgesen
I’ve decided I’m going to make peace with all of me.
There is no more time for half-assed love. This begins here, at home, in the center of my chest and the entire expanse of my soul.
Life is too damn fleeting to keep trying to fit my moon-shaped heart into a mold that’s labelled “ordinary.”
There are some of us who were born feeling like we don’t quite fit into this world. Our definition of success is congruent with fluidity and flow and guiding the tides. Our minds are a little (or a lot) messy; things get lost in there.
Hunting for truth is our driving force. Oil changes and dentist appointments and bills and routines—not to mention divorce—are foreign languages we have to learn.
If we could spend our days chasing the light and documenting shadows and practicing the great art of paying attention, we would. We do. It’s the only thing that keeps us sane.
We take pictures of our wrinkled bed sheets and a single bowl of citrus that tells its own life story. We learned ancestry in the creek nearby, and that thousand-year-old rock just whispered wisdom in our ear. The world is so beautifully alive that it nearly crushes us with intensity when we stop and listen.
We are acutely aware of what really matters—the temporary and solid and inexhaustibly true. To live a daily existence in the monotonous cycle of a roundabout routine feels like a slow suicide. The only way to survive is to take notice.
See how the leaves are silhouetted in your coffee cup? See how the light hits the floor and scatters across the hard surface of everything that holds you up? Did you hear the holy in that child’s laugh? Did you allow yourself to feel the love one human, living half-way around the world, just sent you? There are some born who are able to place a gentle touch on a body and understand a part of their story that may never be spoken, only felt.
I have spent time wondering how I can be better at being an adult human. I’ve criticized myself for doing what feels necessary to survive in the culture I find myself in. I fall into the trap of comparing my messy, creative existence with that which is deemed “successful” by societal standards. I don’t offer much to this world in the realm of surface living or corporate ladder climbing or even an idea of what it all “should” be.
I do my best with routine and gentle expectations from myself and those I love, but mostly, I try to just show up with a mind rooted in flexibility and a heart full of grace. I offer this life my humanity. I offer awareness.
I offer the truth of what it looks like to be real and honest.
I’m not always put together and not always right and not always ready with an answer. I know how to say “I’m sorry” and “I don’t know.” I know how to empathize to the point where I can feel another person’s pain as if it were my own. I see the tiny details of life and I get lost in the art of being alive. I take chances and I know my own voice. I haven’t always followed my instincts, but they sure as hell are always heard.
I can offer fluency in the language of intuition and lessons in standing firmly in what I know is true—even when that truth is challenged, questioned, belittled or dismissed. Especially then.
These might be things that are valued differently in a world driven by money and how things appear on the surface. I find no home in that way of living. I can’t offer anyone a straight and narrow facade.
I can show up with a hungry heart and an ache to create.
I can be generous with my open heart.
I can dish out a lot of love and enough mistakes to keep me learning.
I can wake up with a prayer on my lips, determination in my heart and enough courage to be vulnerable with the world at large, because that is what feels real to me.
That is where the work of being alive really lies—in what is real. I believe this is the greatest and most difficult work in this world, to remain vulnerable when there are a million reasons to build walls.
I am clear that this is my offering. I am rooted in the depth of my soul.
I am expansive in the reach of my breath and I show up with all that I am, even when all it looks like is a mess of intention and not a whole lot of put togetherness.
Author: Jessamyn Turgesen
Image: Lauren Peng/Unsplash
Editor: Nicole Cameron