If you haven’t read part I, start here.
Now that we are all caught up. I bought my plane ticket to Melbourne several months ago after a tough break-up. I tend to do pretty crazy things when I feel out of control. It is my way of reminding myself I am not stuck – just buy a plane ticket. Highly recommend..
My intentions were to get far far away. A few weeks away from my trip, I remembered “oh shoot, I am going to be in a new city by myself. Maybe I should reach out to some people I know”. So, I did. I reached out to some lovely friends that I met in Croatia last year and got really excited about catching up with them.
While in London, my friend asked me if I was going to tell Charlie, and I just kept pushing the idea down as if he ceased to exist. It was easier that way for some reason. Maybe he is dating another girl. Maybe he is dating another guy. Maybe he moved to Antarctica.
Life is not about avoiding making mistakes. Life is about extending yourself grace no matter what.
I used to get so caught up in NOT messing up or NOT making people mad or NOT ruining my reputation or living my life based on others’ expectations of me. That kind of living was so tiring. I was constantly assessing and reassessing what others needed from me, AND I never lived up to everyone’s expectations. I just couldn’t please everyone. I can’t please everyone.
So, I reached out to Charlie. We went on four dates. It felt just as easy as it did when we were together in Spain, but I felt different. I was coming from a place of wholeness and completeness, and he was simply someone I could enjoy. He was an addition, rather than me becoming an extension of him. I felt free to express myself and my desires and my dreams without fear that they wouldn’t align with his plans. I put up healthy boundaries (not walls), and it led to greater connection and communication.
I am not sure when the “switch” happened. I feel like it may have been more of a daily trying on. I can trace it back to my months of yoga teacher training where I learned to be an individual. I learned that my life is an invitation to be in my fullest expression– creatively, authentically, relationally, physically, financially.
This lesson took me back to the memory of the last time I visited my mom before she passed away…
My mom was very sick for several years before she passed away. She was a severe alcoholic and struggled with depression, bipolar disorder, and prescription drug abuse. I was not living with her at the time but would visit her once or twice per week. I would make sure she was fed, showered, and loved. This particular day when she answered the door, she did not recognize me. So, I introduced myself to her and reminded her of who I was. I carried her to the couch and laid her down. I sat by her side, and we talked about life while holding hands. I remember her telling me that she was ready to die, but she said it with a particular pain in her eyes as if that was her only choice. She felt stuck and without options. She was a beautiful human trapped in a body that was craving what was killing her. I looked back into her eyes and told her, “You know, mom…There is enough grace to cover this“, referring to her illness and pain. She looked back at me with her beautiful, brown eyes and said, “That must be a whole lot of grace“. And I said, “Yes, mom. There is a WHOLE lot of grace for you“. Then, I left. One week later, she passed.
I think back to that moment often, and I wonder what that felt like in her body to hear that she was covered in grace. She had been fighting addiction and mental health issues for 20+ years. I think grace is what finally set her free.
Grace in my life feels like freedom– freedom to know that where I am right now is exactly where I need to be, freedom to make mistakes fully trusting that I can extend myself grace on the other side, freedom to follow my excitement without fear of missing out, freedom from judgement and expectation.
Grace allows me to be me, all day every day. Grace is my most beloved companion and my most valuable possession I could ever carry with me. I can wake up in the morning and say that no matter what happens today, I will lay my head back down tonight covered in as much grace as I did when I woke up.
Grace is what connects me to eternity. It is what connects me to myself and to my humanness. It is also what connects me to God. It connects me to my purpose and passions. Grace feels like swimming in the middle of an ocean- I may simply never know its volume. I can get curious, dive deep, play, and allow it to carry me when I am tired.
Grace is what connects me to my mom. If I could tell myself everyday what I told my mom that day, I could have access to more freedom and live my fullest expression of power, vitality, and authenticity. I can carry on her legacy of love and beauty. My mom and I always connected through music, whether it was her coming into my room when I practiced playing guitar, car ride jams, or her free-styling in the kitchen while making pancakes. One of our favorite songs we would listen to together was “Oceans” by Hillsong. It refers to the Sea of Galilee, which I got the chance to visit Israel just a few weeks ago. As I was standing at the shore of the Sea of Galilee, I wrote this in remembrance of my mom…
Flowing with grace, I dive deep
Playful and fulfilled, refreshed and satisfied
Freedom overwhelming, trust the tide to carry me
Grace covers and catches me
Front flip into grace, off the boat I dive
Deep in love I jump, death leads to more life
Covered in grace, vast as the sea
If I can just keep my eyes above the waves
Teach me how deep, how wide, and how long
Cover me, fill me; this is my song
Hide me and know me, grace sufficient and true
Cover me, heal me, cast out fear
Grace upon grace, I need it now
I’m ready to depart, I am ready to surrender it all