If it’s not working it’s because you aren’t trying hard enough. Hustle until you make it. Only blood sweat and tears get what they want.
This is the messaging we’re all told. Everything requires trying harder, pushing harder, doing hard things.
I’ve recently been reading a very powerful book by an incredible woman who’s gone through a lot and done a lot to turn her life around. Her story is so human, so familiar. Her wisdom so powerful, up until one point. She shout’s “we can do hard things.” As if it’s an anthem we have to live by. A reality we all must swallow. This razor sharp reality that life is hard and you just have to hold your sliced throat closed with a bear grip, pull up your britches and suck it up because you can do it. You can bleed and still live.
While I adore the empowerment of that statement, and yes we can do absolutely anything we set ourselves too, really I believe it on a cellular level. But what I don’t believe, what I don’t feel deep in my heart is this message of hard, this message of sacrifice. It takes too much and mostly takes our whole.
Last year, I divorced my husband of 11 years. Yes, it took ridiculous hard to get to this point. While I won’t go into details of anything beyond this I just want to share the wisdom I received an implemented from one of my coaches: Dr. Chelsea Page.
She looked me in the eye as she answered my challenging question as all amazing coaches do, not giving you the answer but asking you to feel deep into what you truly want and its there you’ll know the truth. It’s why all good therapists just ask a lot of questions, you already the know the answer. You just needed someone to witness it because if they saw it to then its one hundred precent true. I need it then to.
I needed yet another voice to remind me I deserve to be happy. My daughter deserves to see me happy. And we all deserve to know what cherishing really absolutely feels like. Its with that I said yes to divorcing my ex-husband who in so many ways had been asking for one since the third month we started dating. (Apparently I missed my calling as a lawyer because in his words “I made a good case”.) Jokes aside, we knew that this, could be extremely hard. But in her closing words Dr. Chelsea said to me “and guess what, this can be easy, you can make this easy. It doesn’t have to be hard.”
Once I finally came to my decision and declared it to my now ex-husband, I felt him slip into the panic. We were in the kitchen and he was scrambling with the dishes. I paused. Took a deep breath and said “Let’s make this easy, ok?”
He’s shoulders relaxed too and its with that we let every single step of untangling our lives absolutely easy as slicing the perfectly baked pie, clean with the gentle butter knife. We had hard of course. We were performing surgery. But each step, each movement felt right, came with such ease. And it was as simple as giving that permission to ourselves, giving the support we needed to get through each step with gentleness and not force.
So no, I don’t believe this that when we feel empty we need to push more. No, when we feel empty we just need more support.