I recently read a book called Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown that left a phrase rattling in my head that won’t let go.
Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart.
Say those words over and over in your head for a second. Heck, say them out loud and don’t care who is listening. When I first heard them I went immediately mentally to a turtle. Hard outer shell….soft belly….okay maybe a wild heart what do we as humans know? Of course Crush from Nemo had a wild heart so 🤷🏼♀️.
The premise of that part of the book (as I understood it) is we as humans keep that shell in the front . To protect ourselves, keep others out, sort of deflect the other humans in the world that might harm us. Ok, not might, definitely do. I am guilty as charged on that one. With what my 42 years has dished out I don’t let you close until you have proven yourself trustworthy. But under that visual in my head I’m a turtle upside down in my shell. That makes it pretty hard to move forward!
I’ve been stuck in the mud for a long long time. Grieving and hiding behind raising amazing humans. But life is moving forward. So is this phrase from that book sticking with me as a sign from God that if I don’t want to die inside my turtle shell I need to figure out how to put it on correctly and start down the road? Only God knows how much wild is in my heart wanting to get out. If you’ve been around me and I really trust you you know I can cut loose, have fun, and be a completely different person when I stop guarding myself and just BE. When I stop letting some invisible set of rules run my life and worrying about doing or saying the “wrong” thing. When I stop cringing in my shell waiting on harsh criticisms that, admittedly, rarely come as frequently as I expect them. When I can tell myself “who cares what _____ thinks about that, you did AWESOME”.
Knowing those things need to be done, recognizing it, is only part of the battle. A HUGE first part yes, but the follow through? Hell. I’d rather give birth again. Change is hard. Change blows rocks. Right??
Part of the purpose of this blog is for me to embrace the things that I enjoy. To pull them out, dust them off, and incorporate them into being a single empty nester. **Side note: y’all with your babies still at home soak that up. Empty nesting makes postpartum look like a walk in the park.** I am trying to figure out how to get right in my shell, what I want out of the next chapter, Act II, the next season, whatever the hell you call it because everyone seems to have a different name for it, and identify who I am. So here I am. Take me as I am and enjoy the ride with me!
Which way is your shell facing?