Can I just say that my heart is bursting, absolutely bursting as I see this community come alive here? Ladies, you are my people, and to have us all circling up here, showing up with our joys and struggles, well, it’s a dream grown real.
Here today, we have our very first time to be together at The Grove. This is where you’ll find the heart of our community. This is where we get to hear the heart of all of YOU.
Here’s how The Grove works:
Each week, we’ll post a word prompt at the beginning of the week. Look for it on the side bar. Then at the end of the week, I’ll get us rolling with a post based on the word prompt. Then it’s your turn.
Give us what you’ve got. Got five minutes? Give us five unedited minutes of your heart. No pressure, no polishing. Just write. Be inspired by the ladies over at Lisa Jo’s.
Got art simmering in your soul? Share with us your photos, sketches, paintings, poetry, graphic design.
Never, ever considered yourself a writer or artist? You’re in good company. Here’s what I’m learning. The Creator that knit me together, he stitched a piece of his Creator self in me. So there’s a me that’s meant to create, to share what’s in me, what’s on my story path.
I’m still finding her, letting her out. And I bet you are too.
So let’s do it here, together.
Here’s how to contribute:
- If you don’t have a blog, share with us in the comments. Soon (maybe today!) we will have the amazing ability to post images in our comments! So post your words and (hopefully) your images there.
- If you have a blog, write or make art based on the prompt and link back here. You can use the button from the side bar.
- Please select the permalink from your post (so not your blog’s url, www.daniellenotyetthere.blogspot.com but your post url: http://www.daniellenotyetthere.blogspot.com/2013/11/todays-day.html)
- Use the blue linky tool at the bottom of The Grove post to enter your link.
- It will walk you through selecting which image you want to show up in the linky.
- Then your post will show up in The Grove’s linky.
- Then go share some comment love, applaud brave hearts!
Alright, here we go. This week’s prompt is: TOGETHER
Let’s Do It Together
When I moved my life overseas seven years ago, I stepped off the plane armed with a degree, some mountaintop short-term trips, and full confidence that I was about to change the world. Sure, I had never actually been in China before. Nor had I ever taught at the university level; I was barely out of university myself! But none of that bothered me. I’d figure it out. I can do this. And I can do it myself.
But I quickly realized that if I didn’t depend on my experienced teammates for everything, my husband and I would likely starve, be fired from our teaching positions, and have an invasion of mold overtake our home. So I leaned on my experienced teammates as if my life depended on it, because, well, it did. I swallowed my pride and did what I detest doing. I asked for help. I said, “I’m not enough on my own. I need you.”
And it went like that for a few months, until my pride decided, “Ok, thank you very much for your help, but now, everyone please stop telling me what to do. I’ve got this now.”
I needed to get back to the version me who has it all together. In my pre-overseas life, I had fought hard to be her, and I had done a fairly decent job of at least appearing to be her. For my first months overseas, being her was utterly impossible. And I missed her. I needed her.
So I began the fight to find her. As I did, I would look at other women, and mentally note every way that they were more “together” than I was. Look at her home. Look at her cooking. Look at her language ability. The list went on. Somehow, these women became threats, competition in my fight to be who I wanted to be.
I pulled in and away from these women, determined not to reveal to the world how utterly incapable and floundering I felt. By no longer asking for help, by propping up a self-sufficient facade, I unknowingly removed myself from the very life source I needed.
Then in the midst of all that I became a mother. Still determined to appear like I had it all together, I privately read all the parenting books in hopes of figuring out this motherhood gig. You can imagine how well that went.
Here’s what I’ve learned in the years since then, over the course of lonely days and fretful striving. It’s only in wrecking that propped up façade, in torching the “I have it all together” ideal that I can be who I am meant to be. And that involves getting very real with women around me. That means opening up and saying, “Here’s me, and here’s how I’m floundering.” That means seeing another woman’s giftedness not as a threat, but as a cause to celebrate her. It’s leaning in, not away, even when personalities clash and conflicts occur. It’s laying aside my self-sufficient armor, and saying to women, “I need you. I can only do this life with you. I can’t make it on my own.”
Then strangely, that fretful striving, it ceases. When you know the real me, I can stop trying to fool you into believing I have it all together. Really, we’re all floundering and falling heavy on grace. So how about let’s do it…together.
Join me? Show up real and raw.