“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~Albert Einstein
I had drawn a line so deep in the sand about who I was.
I was certain I was on my way to becoming a better version of me.
Water rushed in, softening that line, revealing that I was part of something much bigger than I saw myself to be.
Something much bigger than I could control myself into.
So many children grow up with circumstances far out of their control. Awful circumstances, such as divorce, alcoholism, drugs, and abuse. My home was full of tremendous amounts of love, laughter, and care; yet, I too had my own share of less than ideal circumstances that I longed to make better.
I never could.
By the time I was a teenager, I had a fair share of obsessive tendencies, mostly revolving around keeping things perfectly neat and organized.
Things got profoundly worse when a high school friend began to love me in a way I couldn’t return.
This situation amped up my need to control greatly.
I took the organizing, cleaning madness to a neurotic level. This, of no surprise, was also one of the ways how women in my family before me demonstrated how to gain control where we had none.
Fast forwarding just a short bit, I was in love, married, and making the decision to have our first child.
Love, adulthood, and motherhood gave me the ability and strength to began to dissolve some of these lingering controls.
Nonetheless, motherhood also gave me new reasons to gain control.
I now had a little being to care for, and my lioness self was driven to do it beautifully; perfectly.
New control took hold.
I started eating all the right foods, simplifying our life to the basics, and bubble wrapping ourselves in a safety net of health.
I began doing all the “right” things and looking down on anything not all natural.
Fast forward again.
I miscarried with my third pregnancy.
This came as a ridiculous surprise, as I believed I was doing it all “right,” and took much pride in my first two conceptions, pregnancies, and births.
After I went on to have a third child, I began to look around and realize how many labels I had given myself: stay-at-home attachment mother, homebirthing, homeschooling, breastfeeding, vegetarian, yogi, all natural, simple living.
I began to look around my beautiful, crunchy, progressive town we were now calling home and taking a look at how many labels others had given themselves.
How we were defining ourselves by what we did, not who we really were.
These labels help(ed) to the extent that they give us an identity that informs our choices and invites our surroundings.
Yet, I couldn’t help but notice that they also gave us limits and set us firmly in the center of a vortex, where we were in and others were out.
With these realizations, I began to unravel and dissolve this need to control myself to perfection. I began to realize that I was being held hostage. By myself.
I began to peel away the hardened layers that I had built and began to allow the light that lived beneath to come out, intuiting my way back to the sacredness and simpleness of who I am.
I traded eating perfectly for eating good enough. I traded practicing yoga for enlightenment for practicing yoga for movement and connection with my body. (Lately I don’t practice yoga at all.)
I quit the relentless worry that nearly everything had a horrible consequence, including chlorinated pools, birthday parties without organic homemade cakes, sugar, reusable diapers, and cell phones.
I quit judging myself for falling short, and started understanding that joy, memories, and a damn good time fills you with something that the “right/healthy” choice can kill in you.
Because, you see, when you decide to no longer be a person defined by all the conscious and mindful choices you make, you gain something remarkable.
You gain access back to your intuition that can only get lost when you are always trying to lead the way.
You gain access to the ability to stand with the shadow parts of yourself instead of running away from them.
You gain access back to presence and the ability to be in the moment, in the joy of experiencing the moments in front of you, without worrying if you are somehow failing yourself.
You gain an understanding that these things that you are labeled by are choices, not definitions.
And you gain access to the freedom to live this life fully, undefined.
Traveler walking image via Shutterstock