Are you trying to strangle your life?

It’s interesting when you have a blog, seeing which topics tend to resonate with people most strongly. A post Emma wrote earlier this week took off on social media, was shared quite widely, and even attracted some media attention only because it spoke some pretty strong home truths.

When we flick through things we’ve written, the topics that tend to hit home are always things like:

  • I stuffed up
  • I’m scared of failure
  • My relationship isn’t as great as it could be
  • The house is out of control
  • My career isn’t where I thought it would be
  • I feel guilty as a parent
  • I’m dropping the balls
  • I’m not having fun yet! Waaah!

It’s those deep fears that hold us captive at 3am while we toss and turn, wondering if we’re the only ones… hoping we’re not.

It’s always the really vulnerable stuff. Thoughts of not being good enough. Not healthy enough. Not happy enough. Just… not enough.

Because we exist in a world where people “curate” online images. Images where the sparkly side of life tends to be spot-lit and the debacles camouflaged. So when someone stands up amidst the rainbows and unicorns and says, ‘Er, hello. I’m struggling here. Am I alone?’ we tend to breathe a quiet sigh of relief.

They’re not perfect. They’re struggling too. Thank goodness!

It’s not nasty. We’re not wishing ill on people. We’re just grateful for the honesty. The ‘normalcy’. The ‘all in this together’ feeling.

A virtual Flash Mob somehow rises out of the internet with all the real stories being shared in one place, suddenly. It’s a resounding chorus of “Me too!” that brings a smile to our lips or a tear to our eyes, or both.

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How much kinder are we on ourselves when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable? When we permit imperfection. When we ditch ‘comparisonitis’ and drop impossibly high standards?

How much sweeter are our lives when we cut ourselves some slack? When we cut each other some? How much better is it when it’s okay not to be the perfect partner, and not to expect one? Or for kids lose it in the supermarket without us spiralling into a ‘terrible parent’ self-blame game.

Doesn’t it make more sense to expect we’ll sometimes get it wrong at work, because we’re human? Isn’t it okay if we don’t live in display homes or feel perfectly on top of everything?

We can strive to be better, and we can make improvements in our lives, and that’s great. But sometimes the very first step isn’t doing something ‘more’—it’s letting something go. It’s loosening the strangle-hold we’re trying to keep on a life that won’t be strangled. A life where being more free, and flexible and adaptable is by far our best bet.

A life where we can learn to treat ourselves with compassion, just as we are.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions, comments or would like to find out more about our range of My 15 Minutes programs and products…so please get in touch.

Emma & Audrey

About The Author

Emma Grey & Audrey Thomas

Emma Grey is the author of Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum and Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band (a novel that she wrote because her teen daughter hated reading but loved Harry Styles). She writes regularly for Australian and international media and offers practical, realistic solutions to the modern challenge of ‘having it all’. She lives near Canberra, with her teen daughters and little boy. Audrey Thomas is an experienced coach and facilitator, whose corporate career spanned the UK, Europe and North America. She works with people to discover and develop their potential and improve effectiveness and lives in Adelaide with her Welsh husband, Dafydd and their two young sons.

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