It was an unexpected experience. Sitting in the movie theater with my 5 year old son, watching Christopher Robin and sobbing as silently as my heaves would allow.
It brought me back to what was the start of my striving to be someone. Someone people would like and admire. Someone who would make a difference. I was 18 years old when I was told over and over I’d affect the whole world for good. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it instilled in me a belief I needed to do more, accomplish more, *be* more in order to really be someone special. As if I wasn’t enough already.
Fast forward (through a trilogy of stories yet to be written) to moving to Elizabeth City, NC - aka, Nowhere America. I found myself cringing at the signs that I was nowhere: the sight of a tractor ahead in the road, my body waist deep in chicken poop, nothing to do. Ever.
It was then I resolved to become someone the town would love and need. I went from knowing literally not one person to owning a respected private counseling practice and being called regularly to speak, counsel, coach and consult on people’s most sacred life topics.
The morning I woke up earlier this year and it felt exhausting to even brush my teeth, I quit everything. I quit writing, socializing, cleaning my house, answering the phone. I did the bare minimum just to survive.
I stopped caring if I was becoming something before I became nothing.
I understood that if I died tomorrow, everyone would find someone else to fill that sacred space. I’m not that special.
I know I’m not alone in this striving to be something. I sit with people every day who feel like they’ve failed to become who they were meant to be. There is a movement in our society to “be the best, do the best, be seen the most, quote the most, raise the bar, climb higher, dig deeper, run faster, speak louder, read more, do more, BE MORE” and we are accomplishing it.
And we are dying behind the scenes.
Our family relationships are struggling. Our toddlers are glued to electronic devices, our elementary children are angry, our teenagers are killing themselves, and our college students are looking for the next concoction of drugs to give them a better high. Mothers are instagramming and wining their lives away. Fathers are losing their identity as protector/provider/leaders. Families as a whole have lost how to simply be in the same room with each other without a screen in their face. When I returned to Facebook a couple weeks ago someone said “welcome back to the real world.”
When did we lose touch with reality? When did normal, daily life and touchable moments become boring and not enough?
With consciousness and intention I turned from striving to make a difference to simply being different. Returning to soaking in daily moments without a need to share them with the world. Coffee dates with my husband on our patio. Enjoying my son riding his bike. Bird watching. Dinner with neighbors. Planting flowers. Face to face time with friends. Camping and creating art for no other reason than it feels good.
Authentic living leads to more authentic living.
Quitting my striving to *be more* allowed my soul reconnect to the quiet and still voice within my soul. Allowing space for it to rise, allows me to rise and with ease, I am becoming all I was created for. I was reminded that I was already enough.
I’m no longer dying to live.
Everyday starts and ends with breathing deeply, moving slowly and just being, so the in between moments can be inspired instead of insane, prompted instead of pushed and felt instead of faked. Here’s to letting go of striving to be something, to simply being and becoming 🥂
Christopher Robin said it best:
When I started to do nothing, the best of everything came to me.
From the couch to your soul, A xo
Anna is a soul~therapist whose "no-nonsense" writing captures and expands on the deeper moments of life. Everyone will benefit from posts on parenting to relationships to living your better life. Follow along and you'll gain insights into your own soul, quick-tips (Quips) about every life subject and along the way, you may just find yourself having a few laughs.
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