The Road Taken

Day 26

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Just a few minutes ago, I was listening to a YouTube therapist who I follow. She said something that caused my body to react. I experienced a visceral reaction to her personal story of almost quitting her YouTube channel. She’d had her third child and was overwhelmed with all there was to do as their mother. Finding herself without adequate time and energy, she and her partner were trying to brainstorm ways to maintain her channel – which she loved so much – while still be the all-in-hands-on mother she also loved so much.

Sometimes, we as mothers – we as parents – get used to giving up what we care about.

Emma McAdam

Without warning, my whole body began to tremble and I began to softly cry. Tears welled up, rolled down my cheeks. I found myself feeling, literally feeling in my body, the exhaustion and overwhelm and the almost-constant sacrifice of having raised five children – my Five Beautiful Souls. 

It surprised me that there was obviously energetic residue within my physiology of… hmmm, sadness? Something within me related to what she said about “giving up what we care about” or at least something within me was triggered by this sentiment of sacrificial parenting.

As I continue to ponder this, I’m not sure it is exactly sadness I was processing so much as it was just allowing myself to admit that I did give up what I cared about much of the time – it was what my life asked of me as I chose to create a big family – and I was perfectly happy to give up, to sacrifice, to forgo… but had never allowed myself the time to grieve.

I was happy to sacrifice for my children. But I still grieved. I had chosen this path. Which meant there was a road not taken.

And this morning, upon her sharing her story, I guess I realized that within me lay seeds of grief – grief for the life I didn’t choose because I wanted many children. Absolutely no regrets whatsoever… oh my goodness, my children are my favorite creations! I feel I’ve done the world a great service by sharing these FBS… I’d do it again, choice offered. 🙂

But because I had said YES to a big family, I also said NO to some dreams that I’d entertained up until that point. I went “this way” which meant that I didn’t go “that way.”

Today, I allowed myself some time to grieve these dreams. Dreams that, note well, I am not at all interested in making a reality anymore. I’ve changed! My desires have shifted from ME to WE.

Famous singer in a band? Nah. I’m good. Independent artist living in North Carolina, wearing hippie skirts and donning flowers in my hair? Nah. (Though I do enjoy wearing flowers in my hair.) 🙂 Getting in my car without a map and just going and seeing the world? Nah. Doesn’t sound quite as exciting anymore… compared to sitting here, playing cards with FBS. Or making them dinner. Or listening to their hopes and dreams. Or being on the receiving end of their laughter and hugs.

The things I thought I wanted to experience changed when I met each of my FBS. My other dreams paled in comparison. Sacrifice? Sure. But regret? Not a shred.

But grieve? The body feels things that the mind is unaware remain. And some part of me still held breath, remained overwhelmed, maybe a tad disappointed (which feels different than regret to me)… because holding space for FBS has been the most exhausting, exciting, empowering act I’ve ever done or will ever do. And it has been worth it and I’d do it all again. I love my life. I’m thrilled with my decisions. I own this life. I’m all in.

But today, I became aware that there was a part of me that was still a little tired. Overwhelmed. Needed to release, feel, allow, and move energies.

This is not everyone’s experience nor would I say that it is everyone’s purpose in life… to sacrifice. But I know FOR SURE that it is mine. I incarnated to experience giving, sacrificing, creating safe space, and witnessing others fulfill their destinies.

As it turns out, Emma did not quit her YouTube channel. She and her partner decided to put their faith in God’s Plan A – create a channel – and to live it one day, one video, at a time. She currently has 750,000 subs and creates amazing content regularly. I’m thankful she stayed the course.

I did, in fact, sacrifice dreams, hours of sleep, sitting down to meals, quiet living, rock star status, seeing the big wide world… to be the parent I wanted to be. No one forced, coerced, shamed, or insisted that I sacrifice anything. It was my choice to create these Five Beautiful Souls and then my desire to witness them full-time. It didn’t have to be that way, but this became my new dream, replacing most of my other dreams.

As I continue to let these energies and the thought patterns unpack themselves, offer their messages, and prepare to dissolve, I am realizing that the idea of sacrificing may have a negative connotation… and yet I am finding that it DOESN’T feel sour or bad in my body… Sacrifice has nudged me to acknowledge It, to sit with It, to see It…

And I’m wondering now – what if sacrificing is a sacred act which is not worthy of pity or anger or regret… but is an action which asks us to stop, slow down a bit, breathe, and know that we are choosing our life. And sometimes to choose “this”, you say no to “that” even if for a season.

Yes, to be a good parent, you have to sacrifice, but this is not a requirement of parenting. It is a requirement of being good at something.

Robert Breault

Choosing to create FBS – which I did both consciously and unconsciously – meant the trajectory of my life was going to change. I was as wide-eyed and open-hearted as I could be as I said YES to each soul coming… but honoring myself as a Soul who would experience putting another before myself (even if it was just feeding the baby who was crying before allowing myself a few minutes to scarf a protein bar) was an act that I had forgotten to also take time to do… until this morning.

Before Emma shared her story, I was holding on to exhaustion and overwhelm; her comment triggered my body to share its long-held message; I stopped. Listened. Allowed. Heard. Held myself. Honored myself. And now I feel more peaceful, more sure than ever that I’m living the life of my dreams!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

I still have dreams. I am a dreamer, after all. And how exciting to ponder them… embracing how wonderful my life has turned out to be with FBS added by Grace… to a life that would now feel incomplete without them.

Already, it’s an amazing day indeed. ❤

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