What are you willing to give up in order to gain something more?
This is the question that plagues me nearly every single day of my life.
I loathe regret. The definition of it, the effect of it, and how the living are controlled by it.
To have few regrets in life, one must constantly ask themselves, like a teeter-totter going back and forth with time as the pivot point, “Am I being the best person I can be? The best mother? The best daughter and friend? Am I giving enough attention to my body and health? Am I focusing 110% on the project/career in front of me in order to bless my family the way I want? Am I loving my partner in giving him all of me and not just a part of me?”
Oprah says, “You can have it all, just not all at once.”
And Drew Barrymore says, “Women can’t do it all. Quantum physics actually says you can’t do it all. Like, you can’t do everything at every minute of every day; it’s actually not mathematically, molecularly plausible. [However,] I do think that women can do everything they want to do, especially if they work hard enough at it.”
Lots of opinions exist, but the only way for me to find equilibrium on the subject is to:
Live in the moment, embrace the everyday, believe in my destiny – the one I create – and most of all, be honest with myself.
I believe so much of happiness hinges on personal integrity. So much of eradicating regret is finding happiness.
Around the time I was pregnant with my third child, Sawyer, I began asking myself hard questions. I would ask these questions, in my mind, quietly to myself, then answer them aloud, impulsively. Like a test. And my answers would always surprise me. I felt a little ashamed of them honestly. So I would test myself again, on another day, only to find myself answering the same way.
Is this how I really felt?
I would ask myself these questions, over and over. No matter how I reworded or approached them differently, my immediate and unplanned response was always the same. The worst part is, my answers were not aligning with the life I was living.
You know what the problem is about personal integrity is, right?
You have to own up to it.
In order to maintain personal integrity, like the teeter-totter of time going back and forth, you have to be honest with yourself. Before you can look anyone else in the eye, you have to look into your own eyes.
I believe personal integrity is the highest form of honesty. It means being right with yourself, knowing you did the right thing or are doing the right thing for yourself and others. For me, it’s the highest principle one can live by, and trumps nearly everything.
These answers, the ones that began to gnaw at me, brought me to a point where I would have outbursts. Not of rage or anger, but of anxiety and stress. I think I was nearing the point of exploding. I wanted to be right with myself. I longed to be free from the torture of knowing I wasn’t being the best mom, the best partner, the best daughter or friend I could be. And as long as I was holding dishonesty within myself, I couldn’t be these things, which was the part that really bothered me, the part I was regretting most.
And so, like the teeter-totter, and similar to what Oprah and Drew say, I believe you can have it all, just not all at once, and not all by yourself. One thing at a time, and with your village behind you, you can do anything.
You will be a good mother because your kids will observe it, you will be a good partner because your lover will feel it, and you will be a force of nature because the universe will be conspiring with you to do it.
All we can do is our best everyday.
What choices are you making today that keep you in line with your own personal integrity? Who is in your village and what are you doing to help build it?
You are all invited to be in my village btw. 🙂
A seesaw (also known as a teeter-totter or teeterboard) is a long, narrow board supported by a single pivot point, most commonly located at the midpoint between both “ends”; as one end goes up, the other goes down.