Tomorrow I’m going to be taking my kids to one of my most favorite places in the world. The Virgin Islands, a place I’ve had the privilege to experience but they have never been. I’ve always dreamt of taking them to a place that feels like paradise at an age where old enough to remember it and appreciate it.
If you had told me a few years ago that I would be in a position in my life and career that I would be able to do this on my own, I’m not sure that I would have believed you.
For a long time, I was in the trench. And the thing about being in the trench is that life is slippery and there is no solid footing and no good place to put your hands. You are just hanging and holding, not sure how to go up but you do know that there’s always a chance of falling lower. Rock bottom sometimes has a trap door. You don’t really talk about it because you are still in it. We talk about the dark typically when we have overcome it and pulled ourselves out of it. We don’t talk about it when it is our present, our reality. We love the stories of the underdogs and those who have persevered against all of the odds. We soak in the stories of the Olympians who have prevailed but we don’t know them at their deepest moments of sacrifice.
When you are in the trench, you of course want out. You want to exhale. You want the solid footing. But the deepest question resides: but how? How do you get out? How do you reach for the podium when you don’t know how to make it through the next day? What if you don’t have what it takes? What if every negative voice in your head is right? And perhaps even more scary, what if it is not?
I would read books and articles about mindsets at my darkest spaces but I was cynical and doubting and so full of insecurity and debt that I wasn’t ready to have my mind changed yet. I wasn’t ready to be the driver of my life yet after being on the passenger side for so long. When you are stirred and shaken, sometimes you want to stay small. Being in a mode of victim sometimes feels safer than transforming to a space of rising.
But then it takes doing one small hard right thing. And then another. And another. Maybe you take up some space and you decide that you don’t want to be so small anymore. You quiet the part of your mind that convinced you of your weaknesses and instead you amplify the part that believes in your strength. And that becomes enough to shift your mind into believing in yourself just a bit more. And you go back to those books about mindset and you read them with new eyes. And you make a conscious choice to no longer be the victim and that you were perhaps always enough but just didn’t yet see. You take the keys. You drive the car. And day after day you do the small hard right things again and again until you start to see the horizon that you always hoped would appear. Looking in that rear view no longer serves you except to see how far you’ve come and how much healing and work you have put in to change how you see yourself. You let yourself grow. Grateful for the flaws and scars and cracks because that is how you let that much deserved light in. It doesn’t happen overnight. It may take years and years but the timeline doesn’t matter. The point is that you do all you can to make it happen.
Sometimes life puts us in a position where we have the option of falling or rising. I hope that my children always choose the path upward. Being in the trench happens but staying in it becomes a choice. Lifting up, gritting your teeth when you have to, saying no to what no longer serves you, sweating, crying, cursing but never ever giving up is what pulls us out and that all starts with the belief in ourselves.
I needed to make a conscious choice when life felt heavy and destructive to shift from a narrow mindset of “Why me?” to one of hope and one that could smell and see success and could visualize a kitchen with yellow stools and taking her four kids to a clear water beach and think, “Why not me?”
I would write in my journal manifestations not just of what I wanted but what that life would feel like. My morning meditation was filled with mantras not with I wants or I will but with beliefs that I needed to feel in my core: “I am enough… I am worthy… I am relentless.” And I had to be open to be in a place to receive those words. I deserved to raise my children in a space where their momma loved her life and herself.
So, if you are in the trench know this:
1. You are not alone.
2. You are enough.
3. Keep doing the next small right hard thing.
4. Believe. Believe. Believe.
5. You are allowed to slip. You are allowed to hunch over and cry on the bathroom floor. You just aren’t allowed to live there. Your world needs you to rise again.
6. Your story. Your life. You are in the drivers’ seat.
We all get one life. But it is the belief that we have in thinking bigger things and dreams is what separates us. And then backing that belief with the work that it takes to get you there and letting go of all of the expectations of what you think this existence is supposed to look like. Let the life you know you deserve to live be the one that reins supreme instead. What do you see on your vision board? Where do you want to go? How do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning? The choice is yours for the taking. And I can’t wait to see you go after it.
Read more blogs by Katie Moore here.
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.