Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Surrendering to the messy wonder of life

The journey of motherhood for me is paved with sweetness, with sacredness, with learning, with discoveries about love that I could not have dreamt up, with 4am soul friends I cannot imagine living without, with wonder, with miracles. 

And it is also a journey that is paved with tiredness, with letting go of many of my plans, with doing things much more slowly than I'd like, with more anxiety than I realised I held, with more anger than I realised I held, with confronting moments, with judging myself for not doing things well enough, with wanting to be more this, more that but not quite managing it in the heat of the moment, with comparison, with constant demand for surrender on so many levels. 

And these words came to me on the weekend. They sum up pretty well my journey from perfectionism (and the fantasies and false images I had about becoming a mother. See yesterday's post for images!) towards embracing the messy wonder of my life in these tumble-dryer years. (I call them that because it feels like every time I stand up, I find myself on my knees again - back to square one with my learning all over again.)

But I no longer feel like I am waiting for things to get straightened out. I don't wait for my desk to be clear before I write (seriously, you should see what is surrounding my laptop right now). I know there will always be washing up waiting for me in the sink. I accept that the doorbell will probably ring just as I manage to get everyone sitting down to eat - and that everyone needs to come with me to answer the door. 

And nothing really changes when we surrender. Except that, on the inside, something softens. A sharpness goes. Body memories of being so deeply in service in other times, in other places, surface. And, for me, the real miracle moment comes when I finally find peace with how long it takes to scrub a piece of dried-on avocado off a bowl. The fight and the rush-to-get-it-done leave and it's just me and the dried-on avocado. And I know that standing there, scrubbing, with the phone ringing and my children arguing over something I absolutely know neither of them actually wants, is the most important thing I will ever do. Because that is true of whatever is in front of me right now and there is nowhere to get to, nothing more to be, nothing to figure out. 

This for me is when I know I have deepened my surrender. It is when I know that I have let go of a whole other layer of How I Think Things Should Be. And, when I do this, I get to see the beauty right under my nose and the perfection of the imperfection comes into focus. And I can breathe more deeply, accept myself more readily and love myself and those around me Even When and In The Middle Of and While I Am Scrubbing Avocado Off A Bowl. 


  1. Dear Hollie, I wanted to let you know how helpful this post, and your blog generally, has been for me. I have two young children and find many aspects of day to day life tough, and your words, particularly in the penultimate paragraph of this post, have felt so relevant and useful to me - I wanted to say thanks.

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