Sitting still with myself requires extraordinary effort. It takes the determination of a warrior to defend the calm within my storm, but the urge to run is always there. My habit is to keep on the move, because if I stay in a quiet space long enough, painful feelings creep in and camp out in the corners of my mind. So I push them out by making myself “busy” — 18-hour work days, spontaneous trips to the other side of the world, staying up until the early morning, physical labor until my body bleeds, and much much more... I’ve come to learn, however, that these are all distractions. What I really need is to heal and that only happens when I can sit, undisturbed, and feel.

For most of my life, I’ve waged an epic war against my father’s words, “You’re never going to make a living as an artist.” I repeatedly find myself on that front line, slaying something I don’t even believe to be true, but with a rebel yell that includes a lot of crying.

Then there’s the more current family narrative that I’m a misfit for a mother. I charge at this notion with horns up and fire in my heart, forcing important conversations and preemptively tackling errands, as if somehow these efforts might prove I’m worthy of their respect.

But none of this matters. What matters is that I come back to my stillness, where I’m finding my own strength. For once, I am not running, and I’m not fighting either. I’m coming into my own sense of power that isn’t dictated by anybody else.

It’s from this place of inaction and peace that I see just how capable I really am.

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