I hadn’t known Tiffany Han that well, until this past year. She birthed her babies several months before I had my daughter. Somewhere around the six-week mark with my daughter, I felt…nuts. Scary, broken-from-reality-sleep-deprived nuts. Major lifestyle change–husband had been offered a cushy job a week before I gave birth, and I was suddenly and unexpectedly home alone with a baby all day every day, recovering from a c-section, puffy, tired.
Also, happy, overjoyed beyond belief, gobsmacked by the love, and pulled in the two polarizations of those extremes.
Luckily, of course, there was Facebook. I was invited to be part of a private Facebook group that Tiffany and Laura Simms had started, and we’d all chat together and for the most part in those early months, we’d collectively obsess about sleep.
On really hard days, Tiffany would say this thing to all of us, and sometimes to me via a private text:
“You’re DOING GREAT!” she’d say.
Sometimes, “You’re doing SO FUCKING GREAT!”
This was not patronizing. She just honestly wanted us to know that whatever was happening, we were DOING SO FUCKING GREAT.
Words I needed to hear, to my surprise. Pre-baby, I think I would have assumed that someone saying such things to me was condescending. Post-baby, every time I saw them flash across my phone, I breathed a bit easier.
You’re Doing Great
The truth is–you and me? We’re all just doing so fucking great. Great with what we have, with what we offer. Great within our pettiness and imperfections. Great within our compassion and our love.
We are all doing just great because we are being human, and if you are willing to have a reverence for your life, that is greatness.
Collectively, we are living these lives that stretch us the way having a new baby stretches us. We love so fucking big and huge, and at the same time, sometimes we are so…tired.
The temptation is there to beat ourselves into a submission of “good behavior.”
“If I start telling myself that I’m doing just great,” you might think, “then I’ll probably let myself go even more than I already have.”
We fear that if we allow ourselves to receive the message, “You’re doing just great,” then we’ll blow money, blow diets, blow off the job we’ve hated for the past decade.
Truth? It’s only when we fully receive the message “You’re doing just great” that we find the capacity to get our financial house in order, eat great food without deprivation, and make tough decisions about our careers.
If you want to stop snapping at your husband, your kids, yourself.
If you want to shift your view of what’s possible.
If you want to feel “at home” in your body.
If you want to dance, uninhibited, every single day.
If you want to finish what you start.
If you want to quit every single item on the to-do list that doesn’t feed your soul.
If you want to stop playing small, hiding out.
If you want to focus.
If you want to be more playful.
It’s only when we internalize the messages of kindness, when we understand that through our foibles and fuck-ups we are really only doing the best we can in any given moment–only then will we give ourselves the compassion and care that truly, really, actually changes things.
Hon, you’re doing great–so fucking great.