I put up a post the other day on social media and then what happened next was to be expected, people commented. Now there was no negative comments which was great, but the comments were never the less confronting, despite the words having a positive intent.
The reason they were confronting to me was because these mums, these beautiful women, were saying I was inspirational to them but then I felt some of them went to that place of comparing – my life to theirs. This just isn’t my intention at all.
The HOPE Project was born out of my very own experience of knowing first hand the struggles people face in todays society and to provide a beacon of HOPE. The last thing I want to do is contribute to the problem of overwhelm. When we compare ourselves to each other it is impossible for it to EVER make sense. We are all completely unique with infinite combinations of skills, passions, personalities and talents – so why do we do it?
Not even identical twins are the same!
Four and a half years ago I almost took my life because I was so completely overwhelmed. I felt like I was never going to be able to be the mother my children deserved, the wife I wanted to be or have any positive impact whatsoever. I was consumed with regret, self loathing and shame. I would look at pretty much anyone else’s life and it seemed to me, like they were doing far better than I was.
Wrestling with my humanness was not exactly comfortable at the time, but when I stepped out of the shadow of shame that had covered me for well over a decade and embraced my humanity, things shifted and I couldn’t help but try and address this need in society. At first I was completely afraid of what people might think if they knew of my struggle, but it actually became an incredible journey of rebuilding of self esteem and strength to combat whatever life throws my way.
I remain vigilant about staying awake to what is real and true and present and not slipping into the fog of unconscious overwhelm anymore. As I said earlier, whilst I appreciated that my work is being inspirational to people, I never ever want the opposite to be true. I want the inspiration to motivate a person to interact with their own unique purpose and passion that can positively contribute in what ever form and capacity that takes for you and I never want it to be confused with or replaced by unachievable comparisons that contribute further to overwhelm. When you are doing something inauthentic it IS hard and its unsustainable.
When we compare it does not bring forth HOPE and it is not the truth. I hold myself in the same regard as I hold anyone in the world. I believe there are none in this world, who are better than. There are just different people, in different places that need and give different things.
I remember at 21, I was with our first child visiting a friend who had 4 kids and I thought, ‘there is no way I can ever have that many kids!’ Well I was wrong. My 6 beautiful children are the greatest blessings of my life, my desire to have another child grew and so did my capacity. It didn’t all happen at once the next day!
We have to keep this in mind. When we have a clear idea of what our passion might be, don’t rob yourself of beginning to engage with that gift, because of the circumstances that exist today. Just because you can’t drop everything and do it full time doesn’t mean its not worth engaging with it in a small way now.
When I compared myself to others and I wasn’t self aware or practicing self care, all it did was add extra weight to feelings of self loathing, regret and deep fears I would never stack up.
So I humbly urge you to practise self care, especially if you are a busy mum, but it is a crucial necessity of ALL people young and old. It helps keep us present, it recharges and restores. As your capacity grows you become more self aware. You will become better in-tune with what you are passionate about and how you want to engage with it.
Try and stay aware of contributing positively without contributing to the struggle.
When we restore hope, kindness follows.