Every time I drive down a palm tree-lined street I feel like I’m in a movie. Baring my shoulders outside in the middle of the winter will likely never grow old.
I recently shared that our family relocated to Miami until June.The precipitating event for our move to Miami is that Mike is sick again, and warmth, humidity, and the negative ions of the ocean were recommended to aid in his healing.
(Just over 2 years ago he went down hard with a severe skin disorder, lost 40 pounds in a month, and could barely stand for more than a few minutes at a time. He’s healed significantly since, but never fully. Luckily, for the first time he’s working with folks who understand what he has and feel quite confident that the protocol will heal him, and we’re so grateful!)
What I noticed in myself as I’m navigating this season of holding more than usual when it comes to our family and our finances is that I’ve also started to withhold.
With each passing week of Mike’s illness I started to notice my grip tightening.
I was feeling lonely and like I just had to tense up and soldier on. I’m descended from a woman whose life motto is:
Don’t ask for a lighter pack. Ask for a stronger back.
Strength has never been the problem.
It was suggested to me that I might feel less lonely if I found ways to feel connected to Mike even during this time when he doesn’t have bandwidth for much else than healing, and I don’t have bandwidth for much else than taking care of our kids and my business.
An internal fortress went up as this suggestion was made.
Something occurred to me in that moment:
I’ve been feeling like I’ve been holding so much (emotionally, logistically, financially, energetically) that I was afraid that any amount of softening would make me drop it all.
Luckily, this wise suggester further suggested that I lean into the part that was afraid that if I softened I would completely fall apart.
So I did. It was hard at first, and feeling scared to let the fortress fall down came in waves.
But over a matter of 15 min. or so, holding hands with the man I love, looking him in the eye with us both giving ourselves and each other space to be exactly where we are and honestly sit together in the suck of it, the fortress liquified.
I had more access to connection with him (and myself) than I’d had in weeks.
Turns out, too much holding can lead to withholding.
And we cannot withhold selectively.
If I’m gripping so tightly that I can’t find the softness in my every day, I’m also withholding from my children. I’ve been for sure withholding from my husband and myself.
And, as I took the first truly deep breaths I had in more days than I can count, I noticed that there’s been a part of me withholding from the ideas, inspiration, and connection available to me in my work life, too.
As our company stands on the precipice of some really big and exciting metamorphosing, I can’t be withholding from what the soul of this business needs from me. (Turns out what she needs from me is what I need from me, too.)
As much as we talk about our work lives, our love lives, our spiritual lives, our family lives, and our private lives as separate, I find that acting as though I have separate parts of my life doesn’t really serve me.
It turns out I’m me showing up every day, no matter who I’m with and no matter in what capacity.
I’m happy to report that Miami is indeed melting me in ways I did not realize I needed melting.
If there’s a place you’ve not yet let your love go, as my friend Meggan Watterson says, whether it’s a relationship, a part of yourself, a part of your history, a part of your work life, could you lean into it ever so slightly today?
We cannot withhold selectively.
If you’re living behind a fortress in one place, there’s a part of you missing in every area of your life.
I’ll be over here letting my sweet heart thaw, drip by drip.
Melt with me if you’d like. The world works better when we’re in flow, after all.
Is there any area you’re gripping so tightly that you might be withholding unintentionally? Where can you let your love go that you haven’t let it go before? What parts of you might be available for melting?