Saturday afternoon. 5pm.
Sky descending into indigo + gold, sun falling behind the white crested mountain.
I just had a thimble of dessert wine, and being the alco-lightweight I am, I feel it in the vines of my veins.
Dinner is had (we eat at Grandmother O’Clock).
And my nap-resisting toddler is down for bed. At last. At last.
For the last week she has been forgoing her usual 2-3 hour nap for feisty, snot-nosed, drunken-sailored mayhem.
I did not realise how important those few hours were for our mental health. All of ours.
The tornado has gone to bed. We usher about. The relief is palpable.
Ostara is listening to my recorded voice reading her a story on the Sacred iPad, wedged up against me.
Chris is running for the shower, washing away the salt encrusted from pulling apart beds + wrangling kids + arguing with his much loved but highly distracted wife who prefers hiding in the bedroom making Periscope shows than actually, you know, packing.
That would be me.
And I – at the slightest chance of freedom – I run for the words. The books, the journal, or this time, the laptop. Let the hum of life thrum through me, down into words. It will all make sense here. If I just cleave the thoughts down upon the page, it will weave its own tapestry of understanding.
It’s been a hard week:
For one, moving. For two, that sleep-recalcitrant toddler. For three, we have sick, snotty kids. My main job this week is Tissue Wielder, sent to gather the vast globs of green streaming from their noses.
But most of all, this week, I’ve come up against the hard parts of myself. The bits that still need healing.
Basically, I fucked up.
I didn’t know it at the time. I wasn’t intentionally being a dickhead, just inadvertently.
I thought I was TOTALLY! RIGHT! I was doing EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING! I was TAKING CHARGE! Being SOVEREIGN! I am Athena, hear me ROAR!
I somehow got in my head over the last month that to be a Good Manager, I needed to micro manage the FUCK out of my team. Insert long, annoying group emails sent willy-nilly. And in doing so, I made my whole team feel scared + overly controlled + worried. I was doing damage, where I thought I was doing good.
And I didn’t realise until this week. I got pulled up in my tracks, hard.
There was one point where it was almost delightfully hilarious: a group call with the all-seeing, all-knowing Mr Dawson (aka Hot Hunk of a Husbo + Knower of All My Shit) + our COO, Grant.
Both telling me:
No, Leonie. You fucked up. You need to adjust course, NOW.
I kicked up a fuss at first. I was CONVINCED, I was right, dammit! I bristled + cried.
And then I listened. I got quiet enough to actually… just… listen.
And realised, softly:
Oh. They are right. Oh shit. I’ve fucked up. I need to make this right.
And so I spent my week making amends.
Listening. Listening some more.
Asking more questions.
Trying to see where exactly I had fucked up, and WHY.
Unwrapping why I’d gotten into hyperactive micro-manager mode. Seeing in a moment, all of a sudden, that this had nothing to do with the outside world or my team – it had to do with ME. My fears. My panic, my anxiety, my worry that I am not good enough or big enough or smart enough or experienced enough to be a CEO.
A part of me thought:
If I can just control this… this piece of the puzzle… then I’ll get to ignore this great big gaping hole inside me.
Isn’t that the way? Isn’t that always the way?
Isn’t that the reason for all the atrocities in the world, all the pain we inflict upon others + ourselves?
I cried a lot. I joked that I was losing weight with all the tears I was shedding.
It wasn’t just about making one mistake. It wasn’t just about realising I had been a dickhead.
It never is just about one thing.
It was about that great big gaping, weepy sadness inside me that seemed eternal. The hole we all seek to fill in various ways. We ignore it, we act out from it, we dive into it. And wherever we go, there we are.
As Hiro would say… it’s the void when we are disconnected from our souls. The space we want to fill with everything but ourselves when our own selves are the ultimate cure. The God-shaped hole in us, branded deep.
And it wasn’t just about that thing either.
It was about all the times I’d been an unintentional dickhead. Where I’d caused harm because I’d acted out of my wounds. Where I’d lost friends that were dear to me because I didn’t know how to listen, when I was too young to even try to understand another, when I didn’t know myself enough to begin to know another.
The hole where all those friends used to live in my heart.
And this faith + certainty rising up:
I don’t want to do this again. I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. I don’t want to lose another relationship out of my life because I haven’t healed this thing.
I apologised. Whole heartedly.
Over + over.
I went off script. This was no place for “I’m sorry for this inconvenience” messages.
I’m really sorry. That was wrong. I acted out of my own fears + panic. I am so very sorry. This being human is frightfully messy. I will do better. I promise I will heal this thing.
Again + again.
And I was met with a lot of gentleness, and grace, and love, and forgiveness.
Enough to make me weepy.
It is a sacred, sacred gift, that. Grace + forgiveness.
I’ve never felt more awed or honoured than when someone bestows it on me, this frightfully human person.
My husband taught me it first. I only realised a couple of years ago just how much he has given me over the past 14 years. How many places I’d been wrong, and headstrong in that wrongness. And how he loved me enough to hold fast until I could do better.
I want to give those two gifts more. The gifts of grace + forgiveness. Big ones for a prickly, vulnerable, resentment-loving Scorpio like me. The perfect medicine for my totem spirit of “Let’s Burn All These Mother Fucking Bridges Down!”
So that’s been my week, loves.
Another wondrous, weepy, painful, perfect week of being human.
I always feel not-so-secretly pleased when I get to learn another lesson like this. Can you imagine how many more I’ll get to learn along the way? It thrills me!
This whole life thing is kicking my ass + making me exactly who I need to be all at once.
I’m sending you love, grace + forgiveness,
from one perfect fuckup to the next,
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