Defeat and hope together? Sounds unlikely, no? But the things is, my fellow mamas in the trenches, you know exactly what I’m talking about–give me a moment to explain why…
Last week a friend shared with me how she felt like a failure. My response: “You too?” As she is lovely and kind, she exclaimed, “But you have it all together!” Ah, I do so appreciate her belief in me…but I explained how very wrong she was. How messy and complicated and ugly my truth actually is. For you see, on the side of every shiny exterior, there is a whole other side. Always.
Oddly enough, this very same week, another dear friend texted me, “I can do hard things.” That was it. Nothing more to her text, yet nothing less. I can’t say how much I’ve carried this phrase with me, how I’ve since mantra-ed these words through my days. “I can do hard things” is real, an affirmation, a hope to spur us on.
Because the truth is, mamas, we live so wholly in both–defeat and hope. Our defeat is painful, poignant, and present. It is made no less true by hope, also so necessarily integral to feeding our walk on this earth.
Defeat Meets Hope
Should you choose not to bury yourself in the mess and chaos, let me be the first to award you a rockstar badge! Rising above the mess is a boss feat indeed. Choosing to press on despite is warrior status. And this, dear friends, is the power of hope.
Defeat will meet us at every turn. Always. Infallibly. We will never be good enough. We will never get it all done. We will never get it completely right. And that? That is okay.
You see, there is only one formula you ever need to know to walk through the days of this life.
Defeat (inevitable) + hope (necessary) = you can do this
What does this formula mean? Defeat, failure WILL happen. We are human, after all. Giving yourself the grace to fail–to not be perfect–is one of the very kindest gifts you can ever give yourself on this earth.
When defeat meets hope, we are enabled to sort the intricacies of our days. When our stuff sucks, hope allows us to keep pressing on, to strive for better, to believe in more. Hope allows us to carry on.
Defeat meets hope: real life
When it’s 4 pm, you’ve sorted nothing for dinner, kids are whining non-stop, and you find something in your fridge to suffice–or take-out is always a heroic option.
When the dishes are toppling over in the sink, and you think it more convenient to burn the house down, yet somehow manage to pick up that wash rag.
When you are ill over the prospect of another school project, yet still snag that posterboard at Target in between the chaos of your day anyway.
When you are actually ill with the flu, as are the rest of your family crew, and want to die…but still yank yourself out of bed and heroically tend to one more puke bucket. You are a mom warrior!
When your workout is halfway through and you want to give up and crash, yet force through one more circuit. Change can happen.
When the pounds are sloughing off–but far more slowly than palatable… YET, you do NOT give into that sugar craving, but nosh on frozen grapes like a boss.
When work is piled up beyond piled up and you’re lost for seeing it through, but you chug through one more round of emails…followed by one more round…and then another.
When you are faced with school pick up, finding yourself in scrubby leggings and days-ago-washed-hair…welcome! 😉 You are my people. Also, the shower will eventually happen…or not.
When your house looks like a nuclear bomb went off and you want to quit…but pick up the garbage bag and begin snatching up construction paper project leftovers anyway.
When your introvert self wants to hole up, but the value of participating in the Spring Fair? Matters…
Friends! You’ve got this! You may never feel like you’ve got this (most of us never do–truth), and that is fine. That’s the beauty of this life gig: when you most feel like you can’t (defeat), the notion that you can (hope) steps in. So we spend our days in a dance, a dance seeing how we’ve gone wrong yet knowing we can overcome those wrongs.
The truth? The truth always is that we can do what is in front of us, friends–however tricky (my friend was right–we can do hard things!) We can do hard things while giving ourselves the grace to recognize they are hard, to feel defeated along the way, and to know that we’ll keep going despite.
To all the keeping going…on the corner of defeat and hope. xo
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Janine Huldie says
After this crazy, long week where anything that could go wrong probably did, I needed to hear this more than you know. So thank you and just glad to know I am in only the best of company and this and more. Hugs and we got this together! <3
Wasn’t this week just a mess. Janine, knowing we can walk through our weeks together whatever they hold means so much. xoxo
Robin Kenworthy says
Beautifully encouraging and heart-strengthening words as usual Merideth! 💕🤗
Thanks for being a friend who always understands and supports the real parts of this life. xo, love.
Wendy the Queen of the Amazons says
Thank you for the optomistic take on life. My battles increase every year it seems and my kids are grown . I am grateful to still be here to battle and see my grand kids grow up, but can hand over Amazon Warrior Queen title anytime someone wants it. Thanks for laughs and inspiration!
Wendy, thanks for being willing to share your title! And isn’t it crazy how we always face battles with our kiddos, no matter how old they are? xo 🙂