Friday, February 1, 2019


Way-too-long-vulnerable post warning ahead:

I have a new term: messpiration. 

I discovered it this weekend when I thought I broke. 

As many of you know, one of the things I do is write and speak on inspirational topics for women. I am all about perspective and choice laughter and the power of will and resilience and God. 

This can be a tricky thing, for teaching about inspiration and empowerment means I know a lot about it. And in my mind, I equate knowledge with performance. If I know these things, then I shouldn’t struggle with them. 

But I do. 

Not all the time. But I sometimes I do. 

Sometimes I wonder if I am enough. I wonder if I’ve failed my kids. I wonder what people think of me. I hurt and doubt and am afraid.

Then I beret myself because I feel like I should know better, and this means I should do better. I should think and feel better. 

I do. But sometimes I don’t. 

So then I feel like a fraud. How can I advocate and inspire when I feel like this way? How can I have anything to offer when I have moments of struggle myself? Why can’t I keep it all together all the time?

I was talking to a friend the other day and I said, “You know, after all this time studying and writing and speaking, I’ve realized something. I’m a mess.”

I love a perfect God and His perfect plan and principles. But, man do I trip all over them. I love hope but sometimes I lose it. I hate fear but sometimes I cling to it. I trust Him but sometimes I get frustrated and impatient. I understand I have control over my reactions, but sometimes I want to ram my car into the guy in front of me who cut me off (just a tap, really.) Damn slips from my lips too often and I love sleeping in and eating ice cream for breakfast. I think waaaay to much and over analyze everything-except the dumb things I do and say without thinking at all. I’m complicated and messy. 

Circumstances were a bit challenging and I dipped pretty low this past weekend. The weight of fear and pain pushed my thoughts down. I began to doubt my contribution to my family, my church, my writing and speaking. How can I help anyone when I feel so broken? (I have soooo many thoughts on “broken”, but that’s for another long-winded post.)

I was bemoaning my state of messiness to my daughter who, after listening to me whine and cry said, “So, you’re human then?”

I suppose I am. Very much so. 

You won’t find anything close to perfection here. I’m no example.

But, I believe in God and what He can do for and with me. I get excited when I think about progression and problem-solving and who we really are and second and third and thousandths chances. I love that the Savior gets me and has the power to ease my pain and strengthen me if I let Him. I love laughter and cookie dough and organizing. I love to make people happy. And I love real. 

So often we see people trying to inspire us with perfect appearances and programs (for a small price). They post their best as proof their answers will solve all your problems too. 

But here’s what I’ve discovered. We are all a mess. Even them. And anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something. Sometimes literally. 

We buy into the idea that happiness and joy are the “right” places and if we feel anything other than complete faith and serenity somehow it’s wrong and we are deficient. Pain and struggle have turned into sources of shame. We see them as weaknesses, proof we can’t cut it. Proof we aren’t enough. 

Look, life sometimes is really hard. It’s messy. And we struggle. This is part of our experience. We don’t wallow in it, glorify it, or use it for attention. But we shouldn’t be ashamed of it either. Pain is pain. It’s not our enemy or our friend. What we do with it is.

I’m almost always happy, but when I’m not, I’m really not. 

In my lowest moment this weekend after I had cried on the shoulder of my 21-year-old daughter, I looked at her and said, “I want you to remember this moment- the moment your mom broke.” 

She nodded. 

Then I said, “And I want you to remember what I’m going to do next.”

She nodded. 

“I’m going I let you help me today. I’m going to wipe my tears. I’m going to seek God’s help because there is some pain that only He can lessen and some strength only He can give. And I’m going to chose to be okay.” Then I smiled and got up. 

Even though I’m a mess, I’m going to continue to teach and write inspirational stuff because I believe in Who I’m teaching and writing about. I’m not an inspirational person. I’m messpirational. And I like it. And I love Him. 

So, why share all this? And why post this pic of me that’s not smiling and joyous? Why not keep such personal matters to myself?

Because I hurt still. It’s getting better- but there’s still a struggle to be had. And maybe you’re hurt or are struggling too. And because I hope we can still believe that we all have something to give even when we feel like we are small and broken. 

I don’t think we need to be happy and perfect all the time to contribute or inspire. I just think we just need to be real about it all. Life is hard and wonderful and painful and lovely and scary and fantastic. 

We don’t need to bask in the low times, allowing our struggle to define our capacity or value. Acknowledge it. Accept it. And move on with it. Wipe our tears. Let others help. And choose to keep going. 

I choose to believe we all have something to offer, in happiness and pain, in joy and sorrow. 

I believe we are all messpirational.

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