The Lipstick Letters: Intuition

When I was trying to decide where to go next with the Lipstick Letters, I was torn between Memory, Perception, and Intuition. I was heavily leaning toward Memory for a long time, but even though I drafted several Memory posts in my head, none of them made it to paper.

Then, a few weeks ago, I went on a weekend alone to rest and sort it out. It was in that long, deep, lovely silence it became clear that my intuition had something to say.

I fought it. I was so sure it was going to say stuff like, “Get off your @$$ and handle your messy life.” But no. When I finally caved in, late afternoon on my first, full day alone, all I heard was, “Girl, you’re tired. Have a good sleep and we’ll talk in the morning.”

I slept from around four that afternoon until seven thirty, got up, had a snack, brushed my teeth and slept from eight until the next morning. And when I woke up, I could hear myself. I could hear myself so clearly it was impossible to deny how much I had pushed my intuition aside to survive wave after wave of grief in the midst of new motherhood.

I listened. And I learned.

My intuition is kind. Instead of being salty about being shoved down and ignored repeatedly for literal years, it was gracious and proud of me for slogging through, giving my kids everything I had to give, and making it to a place where I was strong enough again to go back and start working through that series of terrible losses.

Driving home, I promised to keep listening and act accordingly as much as possible over the following month. And I did!

I reached out when I felt like reaching out. I rested when I felt like I needed rest. And on days when my grief came knocking, I let it in and sat with it awhile instead of pretending I didn’t know it was there. I set a new boundary with my kids to ensure I get at least a couple of hours to cook or clean or lay down or fold laundry without interference each day.

I let my mind wander back through some choices I’d made over the past several years (another task I’d been avoiding) only to find that so much of what I’ve said, done, not said, and not done, was me in survival-mode. A mode I kept trying to get out of only to have another tragedy toss me back in.

Each whisper I tended to, I felt a little more of the weight of mistakes, the weight of difficult choices, the weight of loss, the weight of guilt, the weight of pressure to do and be more fall away. And even then, my intuition did not tell me to get out there and start rebuilding a new life out of the rubble of the unfinished one I’d semi-started here . . .

It told me to keep writing and sharing, to go get a hair cut, and to remove the gross, old wallpaper in the hallway. So. Yeah. Here we are. : )

I’m trying hard to avoid making these letters about advice. (If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my twenties and thirties, it’s just how much I don’t know.) But I have to say, if you’ve been shushing that inner voice out of fear of what it’ll say, then like me, you might be mistaking your thoughts for your intuition.

My thoughts can be anxious, angry, self-deprecating, and flat out cruel. My intuition is always loving, always tender, always gracious, and not just toward me, but toward everyone else as well. So much so, that nowadays when I’m confused about which is which, that’s my go-to way of telling them apart.

Bottom line? I’m beginning to trust myself and my inner knowing again. And it feels really really good.

Uncomfortable Miracle

My body is changing so quickly to accommodate new life–these new breasts and veins, this expanding belly, and the feeling of our baby moving within . . . an uncomfortable miracle.

I can’t imagine there is anything more personal than holding a life inside yourself–nourishing a soul into physical existence with your own breath, your own body.

Becoming a mother is beautiful . . . and painful and exhausting.

I now understand why many wild animals just disappear into a suitable bush by themselves to give birth, only appearing when they and their young are good and ready.

I’m trying very hard to stop explaining my choices in regard to pregnancy and having children, even (or perhaps especially) when pressed. It seems my aversion to expectations is bordering on pathological and it’s no wonder to me that children take months to be able to walk . . . expectations are by far and away the heaviest material known to man.

I cannot wait to meet this person we made. I’m not particularly interested in shopping for baby things, I don’t have a theme or care what the nursery looks like, and I have no preference for gender.  But I cannot wait to meet this person we made–to show him or her what we love about this beautiful world and to find out what he or she will bring into our world that we have no way of knowing yet.

I worry about this child’s health, about all the things that could go wrong from now until I’m dead and can’t worry anymore. But alongside the fear is the most incredible hope and joy–a confusing mix that I imagine will simply be a part of the rest of my life–my uncomfortable miracle, indeed.

Becoming

I love to read but never “have time.”  I dream about playing music again while my clarinet still sleeps on the top shelf in my closet.  There is another life waiting for me . . . at least I think it is, surely it isn’t the other way around?  I could not be sitting here waiting for it . . . and yet, I sense my own growing impatience with my excuses.  I can feel fall coming in my bones and blood.  It is deep and winter is dark and my soul has plans for my heart and fingers it refuses to divulge.  Probably for the best, if I knew what was coming, I would most likely come up with a hundred reasons it could never work.

My writing is ready to light up a long-darkened corner of my mind.  I have ticked out silly news and sappy love and a battle cry for women’s confidence, but there are other words which have waited.  These other words are fed by old novels of little interest to most.  These other words are fearless themselves, but terrify me.  They require careful construction and a level of skill I doubt I have at the moment, but they assure me if I start, I will get where they need me to be.  So here I am; to practice, to try, to be afraid but not deterred, to become.
Becoming