Embrace The Chaos To Find Peace
A Rachel Hollis quote fell not-so-subtle into my lap this week. It was almost like the universe knew that I needed something powerful to crash down on me like a ton of bricks….one….by….one….until I listened. She said, “embracing the chaos might be the journey we take to finding peace.”
Even though these words spoke to me as soon as I read them, it took me several days of these words playing on repeat in my mind to absorb the message, and even longer to understand it. I am a self-diagnosed perfectionist and easily create my own chaos when I perceive that life circumstance is going in a different direction than I want it to.
Motherhood forcefully pushes you into a perpetual state of chaos and uncertainty, whether you are ready or not. You wake up every day with the best of intentions to stay patient, planned, and clean, but to only discover that those things are a far-off cry from reality. Almost immediately someone needs something and you are instantly pulled in several directions. If you are not grounded in a sense of your own inner peace, this can feel like dismemberment.
To lean into the mess and accept the inevitable uncertainty that is life, and DEFINITELY motherhood, is asking a lot of me. Over time, there have been periods where this has been easier and periods where this has been impossible. I don’t like to be out of control of my environment, or myself for that matter, and sometimes those things go hand in hand. Additionally, even when I feel I have mastered finding peace, I am confronted with another obstacle to overcome with persistent acceptance.
This week I worked hard to dedicate my focus to embracing the chaos. All my energy went into trying to find ways to be calm when everything around me appeared like it was falling apart in some way. During a moment of utter frustration at the fact that I “just can’t be peaceful,” a lesson was revealed to me. PEACE DOES NOT MEAN CALM. I recognized I was trying to damn hard, no wonder it didn’t work! I kept attracting chaos because I was efforting too much. Peace is more about leaning into discomfort and letting go of the effort of trying to force change because everything is temporary.
After much practice and what seems like constant work, I have found the trick to responding to the chaos is to stay centered and stretch outward, sometimes to new edges. The beauty of this approach is that you can expand and contract, respond mindfully, and re-energize and re-focus when needed. When you understand that each of life’s little pushes and pulls are just another opportunity to grow and learn, you have a much better chance at staying in the flow of life, absorbing what you can, and leaving the rest that no longer serves you.
Instead of leaning into the obstacles, lean into the possibilities.
Think of a willow tree here (yes, I am that granola). A willow tree has a strong, rooted, and unwavering trunk yet its branches have the capability to sway with the wind. You can be just as centered and flexible as that willow tree. In other words, you can stretch and bend without breaking.
This journey through the chaos instead of around it, is the path to finding inner peace. Peace does not mean calm….it means centered. The passageway into motherhood can bring you back to the most centered part of you. Let go of the efforting and embrace what is true in the moment.