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The Cup of Our Life

Holding space.  I use that phrase often in my yoga classes.  I see myself not as “the teacher”, but rather as a guide who hopes to hold space for students to arrive within their own experience and inner wisdom.  One’s that arises out of their own hearts, their bodies, not mine.  I was fortunate enough this week to have my space and experience held by my sweet husband and Mom.

It was one of those weeks where I felt like I was being pushed to my wit’s end.  My energy was waning, both physically and emotionally.  I know my life is so fortunate and there are people who have far greater challenges and difficulties, but regardless this was how I felt.  I felt like I was falling apart a little, but that I  needed to look like I was keeping it together.  I often feel that way.  As a mom, a wife, a daughter, among other things, sometimes I feel like I can’t let people see me falling apart, especially my kids and my family.  I want to appear strong and collected for them.  But that makes it even harder when the inner seams are slowly fraying.

Well, Friday evening I did just that.  I let the seams come apart.  I bawled and cried to my husband and my mom, at different times, like I was five years old.  I can’t remember the last time I cried in that way in front of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I do cry and sometimes quite easily.  But this was different.  This was crying and allowing myself to be seen as someone who did not have it together.  My husband lovingly sat next to me and listened.  I was a bit afraid that he would start offering advice and direction, but he didn’t.  He just listened.  With my mom, sometimes it’s even harder for me to cry to her.  She has already done so much for me in her lifetime, and I often feel like now is my time to be there for her, rather than to ask for more.  But, alas, there is sometimes nothing more comforting than a mother’s shoulder to lean on.  I am grateful to have her in my life.

In the moment, I didn’t realize it.  The crying was not at all planned.  And even as I cried, the voice inside my head kept telling me to stop because my family was listening. 🙂  The next day, I unexpectedly felt lighter and a little more at ease.  Being able to express myself, especially the self that felt exhausted and drained, allowed me to let go a little.  They held space for me to be exactly as I was.  And they didn’t ask for anything other than that.  I didn’t have to explain why.  I didn’t have to figure out how to fix it.  They simply listened and allowed me to know that they were there for me.  Sometimes that is what it takes.  It’s as difficult as it is simple.  We can slowly heal if we have the support and the courage to be seen as we are, not as we want to be seen.

Thank you Herb and Mom for your unending support and love.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful and poignant poem from Joyce Rupp.

The Perfect Cup 

it is time for me 
to see the flaws 
of myself 
and stop 
being alarmed 

it is time for me 
to halt my drive 
for perfection 
and to accept 
my blemishes 

it is time for me 
to receive 
slowly evolving growth 
the kind that comes 
in God’s own good time 
and pays no heed 
to my panicky pushing 

it is time for me 
to embrace 
my humanness 
to love 
my incompleteness 

it is time for me 
to cherish 
the unwanted 
to welcome 
the unknown 
to treasure 
the unfulfilled 

if I wait to be 
perfect 
before I love myself 
I will always be 
unsatisfied 
and ungrateful 

if I wait until 
all the flaws, chips, 
and cracks disappear 
I will be the cup 
that stands on the shelf 
and is never used 

— Joyce Rupp

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Manju Jhawar #

    Awesome Sheils! I am glad that you felt that way.
    I am always near your heart ! when ever you need me, I am always there for you all.
    I am glad that I can make you feel better. Love you always unconditionally 🙂 🙂
    Love mom

    December 16, 2012
  2. I’m glad you’re feeling lighter. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all; they are as inspiring as they are enlightening. Oh yeah, and yay for Captain and auntie!:)

    December 16, 2012
    • Yes, it seems you have to move through the dark to get to the light & then do it all over again & again & again. 🙂

      December 20, 2012

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