Nobody raves about average - a quote from Rashad Howard today that stirred my thoughts. As a mother, significant other, military Reservist, government civilian employee, boss, mentor, aspiring author, and friend, I struggle to find the true difference between average and extraordinary and sometimes no amount of work seems to exist to create the leap in every area. So let's walk through my mind together as I try to resolve this within my own life.
I believe that as mothers, our children and spouses expect that above all we will be extraordinary parents and companions but average at everything else if not poor.
It's okay if I have to travel for work as long as it doesn't reach a threshold - one that only my significant other defines based on how he is feeling that week about watching our child - that is untenable to my family and turns me into a bad mother and companion.
It's okay if I mentor a high school student if I do it during my work time where it is not noticeable to my family and during a time I would be gone anyway during my 8 hour workday.
It's okay if I am a friend to someone as long as I take my children with me when we hang out so that I don't spend too much or any time with my friends that I could be spending with my children or companion.
It's okay if I work but any professional development I pursue above the mandatory training is 'optional' and bound to create an imbalance where I suddenly don't care about being the best companion or parent that I could be.
It's okay to pursue a retirement with two jobs but it will be seen as something that means I have to dismiss other activities to only be a mother or companion because I am already spending too much time working which is seen as taking away from my motherhood duties or companionship needs.
It's okay to write but I shouldn't write my honest thoughts about people I care about because if they might be seen in a true light instead of behind the filtered and still camera shots that permeate social media.
The boundaries and constraints that are invisibly placed on people trying to be extraordinary cannot be underestimated. The problem with deciding to pursue having a family is that family always sees time away from them as time away from them. It is construed as a luxury. The selfish bubble that family places around mothers often suffocates and drives them away from being extraordinary at anything. There is no 'whole' person when you're a mother and I cannot just give up elements of my life to be extraordinary in others. There isn't much tradespace to facilitate these balancing acts and my attempts to create them are met with rage and fury.
So I am an okay friend, an average mentor, a decent mom, a reasonable boss, a below average employee, an okay mom, a shoot at the hip author and an okay significant other. I know I am not reaching my full potential in any area and even if I were just be a mother, significant other, and employee, that wouldn't grow me with any widespread impact or benefit. Deepak Chopra says that needs are good when they are growing, expanding or evolving you. This is a self-centered approach which is exactly the approach you have to take when you want to become a better human being.
No one will encourage you to become a better human being if it is not of some value to them unless they themselves are on a similar journey and can see that the journeys that grow, expand, and evolve you don't always converge but they serve as a benefit to all in the long run. A narrow lens only shows paths that converge in the near term but a wide lens shows paths that may diverge slightly all along but result in you walking next to someone, not behind them over a long period of time. As a working mother, your family, friends, and acquaintances will all be better off if you open your lens and embark on a journey full of possibility in all aspects of your life.
Erase the fears of feeling inadequate or being guilted into only improving certain aspects of your life. Take or even ignore the heat you will get from trying to be your best at more areas than being the mom and companion and create a long lasting and sustainable path for yourself that supports your needs to grow, expand and evolve. It's not about being average or extraordinary - you must start with being bold and daring. Chase your dreams - if they fail, try again. Don't stop ever. There is no power in having a poor self image or in feeling deficient in areas you want to feel extraordinary in.
You can weave your desires into a life that shows the strong woman you see yourself as. The result might be a few unfulfilled people in your life - but remember that this is not on your account as a unpaid bill. After all, it is not your responsibility to make people feel fulfilled. This is an individual responsibility to start from a place of fulfillment so that they do not act as a leech on your soul as you try to grow, expand and evolve. The cold hard truth - most of us are surrounded by leeches - a society and culture that encourages bonding for fulfillment hence creating relationships and arrangements fraught with using and abusing the human spirit. All around us we witness deficient people encouraging others in acts that make them feel better about their deficiencies by discouraging the behaviors that make people fulfilled and resilient in a sustainable and independent fashion.
The key here is don't accept the bill for someone you are not responsible for. It can go into collection - guess what? It's still not your problem! Maybe you help a little when you can and when it is positively received but the entire time, keep your center calm and collected and keep chasing extraordinary - whatever that means to you. Eventually others in your life will want to know how you did it.
Extraordinary is not a not a destination reached by walking behind someone or attached to someone at the hip. It is reached by taking journeys where you surround yourself by people and experiences that expand, grow and evolve you - this is not just one person or just your spouse and kids and a few friends - it is a diverse network of positive randomness all directed at making the diameter of your calm and collected center wider and wider so you can thrive no matter what life brings to you.
Here's to chasing extraordinary and expanding our centers!
Ms. Bhakti Mary
I am an optimistic, positive, generous and driven author who is passionate about self-improvement.
The essence of who you are does not lie in the past. What matters is what you are willing to do NOW. You are the presence.