Tonight my husband cooked us dinner. Like he does most nights. He followed it with solo facilitating bedtime for three children. Like he does most nights.
The lie is so quick to slide from my mind into the gut-pit of my belief system; that I am taking more than giving in this marriage, that I am stealing time for myself, that I am simply selfish and insatiable in my need for intake.
Currently my need for intake is high. The more the world unleashes ugly, the more I need to seek out life-giving things to restore my positivity and faith in goodness.
While I sleep, my partner night parents. While he packs lunches (endearingly coined “f*ckin’ lunches” in our household as any parent of school bound children understands), I Netflix.
I already take so much. I am hesitant to ask for more.
Even so, I require more -at least in this season where my former belief and knowledge of government and humanity and decency are uprooted at least thrice daily. Part of my response to the breakdown is intake. Eyes open awareness. Notice goodness. Breathe in the blessing. Exhale the gratitude.
The space I take to write or exercise or chase sunsets or read is not a mainstream reality for many moms of young kids. I know this. The guilt trickles in easily. As if marriage were a one to one economy. As if comparing one household norm to another ever worked.
I cannot control my Twitter feed. I can only control my frame of mind and my response to the world.
For me, part of setting that positive intention is getting elbows deep in splatter painted creative, interactive living. That includes my family and that also includes interests that are life-giving to me as an individual.
For so long I thought I was stealing this time and leaving a burden. Recently, when I asked for the truth, I was given the answer I wasn’t ready for: no.
What I thought I was stealing had been freely offered all along.
Sometimes the most gracious gift of all is the hardest to accept. Instead of a mindset of guilt and taking and chastising myself because “I already get to do so much”, I have been offered a lightness to simply be me and be fully alive.
I have been invited into the practice of reception.
C.S. Lewis warned, “You must have a capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can’t give.”
I am grateful for it. I am uncomfortable with it. I am learning to allow the vulnerability of being open to this practice of reception impact my life and shift the narrative of my perception.
There is no earning it. No reciprocating it. There is only allowing it to be.