When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.
This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.
I will not stay, not ever again - in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself.
When women lose themselves, the world loses its way. We do not need more selfless women. What we need right now is more women who have detoxed themselves so completely from the world's expectations that they are full of nothing but themselves. What we need are women who are full of themselves. A woman who is full of herself knows and trusts herself enough to say and do what must be done. She lets the rest burn.
Tish is sensitive, and that is her superpower. The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.
You are here to decide if your life, relationships and world are true and beautiful enough for you. And if they are not and you dare to admit they are not, you must decide if you have the guts, the right - perhaps even the duty - to burn to the ground that which is not true and beautiful enough and get started building what is.
Being human is not hard because you're doing it wrong, it's hard because you're doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.
A broken family is a family in which any member must break herself into pieces to fit in. A whole family is one in which each member can bring her full self to the table knowing that she will always be both held and free.
The truest, most beautiful life never promises to be an easy one. We need to let go of the lie that it's supposed to be.
I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever. To be alive is to be in a perpetual state of revolution. Whether I like it or not, pain is the fuel of revolution. Everything I need to become the woman I’m meant to be next is inside my feelings of now. Life is alchemy, and emotions are the fire that turns me to gold. I will continue to become only if I resist extinguishing myself a million times a day. If I can sit in the fire of my own feelings, I will keep becoming.
It’s okay to feel all of the stuff you’re feeling. You’re just becoming human again. You’re not doing life wrong; you’re doing it right. If there’s any secret you’re missing, it’s that doing it right is just really hard. Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they’re for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones. The secret is that you’re doing it right, and that doing it right hurts sometimes.
It's not the cruel criticism from folks who hate us that scares us away from our Knowing; it's the quiet concern of those who love us.
Hard work is important. So are play and nonproductivity. My worth is tied not to my productivity but to my existence. I am worthy of rest.
It's just that living with anxiety - living alarmed - makes it impossible to enter the moment, to land inside my body and be there. I cannot be in the moment because I am too afraid of what the next moment will bring. I have to be ready.
Here's to The Untamed: May we know them. May we raise them. May we love them. May we read them. May we elect them. May we be them.
Because once we feel, know, and dare to imagine more for ourselves, we cannot unfeel, unknow, or unimagine. There is no going back.
Every life is an unprecedented experiment. This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been. There is no map. We are all pioneers.
What is better: uncomfortable truth or comfortable lies? Every truth is a kindness, even if it makes others uncomfortable. Every untruth is an unkindness, even if it makes others comfortable.
When I see a joyful, confident woman moving through the world with swagger, I’m going to forgive myself for my first reaction because it’s not my fault, it’s just my conditioning. First reaction: Who the hell does she think she is? Second reaction: She knows she’s a goddamn cheetah. Halle-fucking-lujah.
Rebellion is as much of a cage as obedience is. They both mean living in reaction to someone else’s way instead of forging your own. Freedom is not being for or against an ideal, but creating your own existence from scratch.
If you are uncomfortable—in deep pain, angry, yearning, confused—you don’t have a problem, you have a life. Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right.
Maybe Eve was never meant to be our warning. Maybe she was meant to be our model. Own your wanting. Eat the apple. Let it burn.
Our boys are born with great potential for nurturing, caring, loving, and serving. Let’s stop training it out of them.
Listen. Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job, throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.
Whether you are brave or not cannot be judged by people on the outside. Sometimes being brave requires letting the crowd think you’re a coward. Sometimes being brave means letting everyone down but yourself.
Selfless women make for an efficient society but not a beautiful, true, or just one. When women lose themselves, the world loses its way. We do not need more selfless women. What we need right now is more women who have detoxed themselves so completely from the world’s expectations that they are full of nothing but themselves. What we need are women who are full of themselves. A woman who is full of herself knows and trusts herself enough to say and do what must be done. She lets the rest burn.
No, I’m sorry, Chase. I’ve been sending you the wrong message. I have accidentally taught you that achieving out there is more important than serving your family in here. I’ve taught you that home is where you spend your leftover energy, out there is where you give your best. I need to course-correct by giving you this bottom line: I don’t give a rat’s ass how much respect you earn for yourself out in the world if you are not showing respect to the people inside your home. If you don’t get that right, nothing you do out there will matter much.
The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.
Grief shatters. If you let yourself shatter and then you put yourself back together, piece by piece, you wake up one day and realize that you have been completely reassembled.
What I thought would kill me, didn’t. Every time I said to myself: I can’t take this anymore—I was wrong. The truth was that I could and did take it all—and I kept surviving. Surviving again and again made me less afraid of myself, of other people, of life.
What if we revised our memo? What if we decided that successful parenting includes working to make sure that all kids have enough, not just that the particular kids assigned to us have everything? What if we used our mothering love less like a laser, burning holes into the children assigned to us, and more like the sun, making sure all kids are warm?.
You are not here to waste your time deciding whether my life is true and beautiful enough for you. You are here to decide if your life, relationships, and world are true and beautiful enough for you.
When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.
This way of life requires living in integrity: ensuring that my inner self and outer self are integrated. Integrity means having only one self. Dividing into two selves—the shown self and the hidden self—that is brokenness, so I do whatever it takes to stay whole. I do not adjust myself to please the world. I am myself wherever I am, and I let the world adjust.
What if parenting became less about telling our children who they should be and more about asking them again and again forever who they already are? Then, when they tell us, we would celebrate instead of concede. It’s not: I love you no matter which of my expectations you meet or don’t meet. It’s: My only expectation is that you become yourself. The more deeply I know you, the more beautiful you become to me.
I decided that a family’s wholeness or brokenness has little to do with its structure. A broken family is a family in which any member must break herself into pieces to fit in. A whole family is one in which each member can bring her full self to the table knowing that she will always be both held and free.
If you keep living with confidence, the rest of your life will unfold exactly as it is meant to. It won’t always be comfortable. Some will recognize your brave; others won’t. Some will understand and like you; others won’t. But the way others respond to your confidence is not your business. Your business is to stay loyal to you. That way, you will always know that those who do like and love you are really your people. You’ll never be forced to hide or act in order to keep people if you don’t hide or act to get them.
Since it doesn’t use words to explain itself to me, I quit using words to explain myself to the world. This is the most revolutionary thing a woman can do: the next precise thing, one thing at a time, without asking permission or offering explanation. This way of life is thrilling.
Since I got sober, I have never been fine again, not for a single moment. I have been exhausted and terrified and angry. I have been overwhelmed and underwhelmed and debilitatingly depressed and anxious. I have been amazed and awed and delighted and overjoyed to bursting. I have been reminded, constantly, by the Ache: This will pass; stay close. I have been alive.
Depression and anxiety are not feelings. Feelings return me to myself. Depression and anxiety are body snatchers that suck me out of myself so that I appear to be there but I’m really gone. Other people can still see me, but no one can feel me anymore—including me. For me, the tragedy of mental illness is not that I’m sad but that I’m not anything. Mental illness makes me miss my own life.
We feel like we are always saying the wrong things and that people are always getting upset about that. But I do not think people become upset just because we say the wrong things. I think people are upset - and we are defensive, hurt, and frustrated - because we have fallen into the trap of believing that becoming racially sober is about saying the right thing instead of becoming the right thing; that showing up is based in performing instead of transforming.
There is another kind of pain that comes not from losing beautiful things but from never even trying for them.
It struck me that in every family, culture, or religion, ideas of right and wrong are the hot cattle prods, the barking sheepdogs that keep the masses in the herd. They are the bars that keep us caged. I decided that if I kept doing the "right" thing, I would spend my life following someone else's directions instead of my own. I didn't want to live my life without living my life. I wanted to make my own decision as a free woman, from my soul, not my training. But the problem was, I didn't know how.
Consumer culture promises us that we can buy our way out of pain—that the reason we’re sad and angry is not that being human hurts; it’s because we don’t have those countertops, her thighs, these jeans. This is a clever way to run an economy, but it is no way to run a life.
Family is: Whether we're falling or flying, we're going to take care of each other through the whole damn ride.
Being human is not hard because you're doing it wrong it's hard because you're doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was every supposed to be easy.
Every time you're given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.