You are allowed.
You are allowed to be both full of rage and delight
at the same time
You are allowed to love your body one day
and spend a hundred sad minutes in front of the mirror the next.
You are allowed.
To both love and hate being alone
and in the company of others
at the same time.
You can be rebellious
and also want desperately to belong.
you are allowed
to wear lipstick one day
and burn your bra the next.
Allowed to be
both fearful and courageous
both unspeakably sad
and yet full of gratitude.
both full of joy
and aching with longing.
both determined and strong
and in need of support.
You are allowed to change your mind.
You are allowed to be confusing to those around you –
You are, after all
not a brand.
May I jolt you out of your right brain for a minute to tell you why?
An oft-overlooked hallmark of adult development is our ability to grasp complexity.
Truthfully, not every adult reaches this hallmark: developmental psychologists posit that it is only a small percentage of adults that transition from having a “socialized mind” (aka: caring a lot about how we appear to the world and less about who we most authentically are) to being “self-authoring” – that milestone during which, as Robert Kegan, the guy who came up with this stuff probably did not say, 1) we Give Fewer Fucks, and 2) can hold two opposing thoughts or concepts as both being equally true at the same time.
Which is to say
your complexity is a sign of your growth
and the richness of your character
not a sign that you are inauthentic or confused.
We live in a world that deifies authenticity
but disallows complexity.
A conundrum, to be sure
for those of us who are Both / And
(that is to say, a great many of us, a great deal of the time)
But may I say?
When you can hold both your joy and your pain
your anger and your gratitude
both your positive attitude and your fear
It is because,
you are all that
and you’ve found the grace to allow yourself to expand
outside the confines of what makes others comfortable
(outside what looks good on Instagram)
outside what makes sense
outside the idealized projection of who you wish you were
and fully into yourself.
The fullness of yourself.
Welcome to yourself
beautiful Both / Ands and all.
**and if I am honest