Throwing Up My MEssiness–My Messy Beautiful

My MEssy BEautiful Carry On Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton

There are very few things I am good at. When I say “few,” I mean 5. I am a good baker. I am very good at yelling at my kids. I excel at injuring myself on a regular basis (traumatic brain injuries, staples in the head, motorcycle spills, and detached retinas to name a few). I’ve been told I’m frequently inappropriate even whilst sober, so I’m good at embarrassing myself and those around me.

My most useful talent though is that I’m a good writer. I can be poignant, I can be clever, I can be funny, I can even be modest. I finally pursued my passion of writing in 2011 after committing myself to a journey of living a life of loving kindness, compassion, authenticity and vulnerability. Of putting my shame and feelings of inadequacy down, of learning to be brave and scared simultaneously. Of doing hard things. Of tapping into the courage and strength that has always been deep inside me, but that I did not always honor. So I’ve shared my MEssy parts–my own naughty bits if you will, of body image issues, rape, parenting strugglesbroken hearts, longing, spirituality, health issues, divorce, and inadequacies among other MEssy things. I write to connect through vulnerability and authenticity. To show others we’re all in this together. To connect with each other, because connections require being vulnerable and authentic, and that has always been hard for me. So when this project came up, it resonated with me in so many ways and is in line with how I live my life and why I write. I knew I had to do this.

What is this project you ask? Glennon Doyle Melton’s book “Carry On, Warrior” is a way of living; celebrating our messy, beautiful lives instead of trying to clean up our lives and ourselves: “Parenthood and marriage and faith and friendship and healing and writing- they are all messy. And so we want to hear from you ABOUT THAT. We want your real story. Truthful and authentic and hopeful and encouraging, too. Stories that make us believe we’re in this together- that life is hard but good, and it is really possible to Carry On, Warrior.”

But I have now discovered I am also good at writing and vomiting simultaneously. I don’t think she wanted to hear ABOUT THAT. I have also discovered I am good at “writing” without generating a word when my brain freezes and I panic, and the only words I’m actually writing are “Help” and “Fuuuckk…” See, I choke when it matters. When it was my small, comfortable blog, I wrote when it felt right, and the words flowed easily and eloquently and smartly. But I’m choking now, when this matters, when you might read this. I am good at choking. Taking risks, apparently not so much. Story of my life. Humorous case in point:

A moment with my “boyfriend”–his name is Bradley Cooper, you may know him: When I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet him, I froze. He smiled kindly and said hi. I squealed. Out loud. He laughed at me, and since a one-sided conversation goes nowhere, he walked away. Choke.

So why is this My Messy Beautiful project such a big deal when I write every day? I’m afraid I’m not MEssy enough. I’m afraid I’m too MEssy. I’m afraid people will wonder why I think I’m good enough as a writer, good enough as a human being, to participate in this project. I’m afraid I’m not unique enough so people will wonder why I’m wasting their time reading this. I’m afraid my readers will wonder why I keep repeating myself and offer nothing new. I’m afraid this won’t resonate with anyone. I’m afraid no one will like it. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid the one thing I love to do, the one thing I think I’m good at, will be thrown back in my face in rejection. I’m afraid I’ll have understood the assignment all wrong. I am terrified of not being Enough in any and every way that matters in this very moment.

I want to be a MEssy, Beautiful Warrior. I am afraid I am not Beautiful in my MEssy. I’m afraid I’m just MEssy in a tilting of the head, cocking of the eyebrow, and walking away way. When it comes down to it, I’m afraid of not being seen, and of not being validated. I’m afraid of being dismissed and diminished. Because I wasn’t Enough.  Good Enough, Smart Enough, Witty Enough, Messy Enough, Beautiful Enough. Me Enough.

Today I don’t know how to share my story, all my mess in one short essay, despite having shared my story publicly for three years. Today I don’t know what to write about. I just know I really, really want to vomit. I keep writing though, I’m going to finish this. Even while I vomit. Even though I know this is not one of my better essays. I continue to practice being brave and scared and doing hard things. Because I know this to be true–I know once you know, you can’t un-know: And I know I am brave, even when I choke. I know I am just MEssy enough to be dangerous. I know the tears from not trying will taste so much more bitter than the tears of failure. I know the joy and peace that comes with being vulnerable and authentic, even when it hurts.

And I know I’m right when I fear I’m not unique. I know we’re all in this together. I can feel this truth when I write. If I can be brave and scared and do hard things, you can too. We all can. I know this to be true. I also know I am more apt to clean the toilets frequently when I’m prone to vomit often. These are my truths, and this is my story. And this is ME in my MEssy Beautiful.

Carry On Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton

 

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38 Responses to Throwing Up My MEssiness–My Messy Beautiful

  1. Your “not good enough” essay was just what I needed to read today to be braver. It was more than good enough for me! Keep being brave. Sxo

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  2. kortneya says:

    such an awesome post. Love it. And, I have actually come to believe that we are the MOST beautiful when we are at our messiest, as long as we can embrace that in the spirit of being “enough”.

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  3. More writing. Less vomiting. You’re doing great. Keep writing your brutiful truth.

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    • Thank you so much for the Monkee support!! Not sure why this one was so tough, and it was a tough day knowing my brutiful messy parts were so out there today. Proud that we do hard things 🙂 Thank you thank you for the support! xoxo-

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  4. MomBox says:

    Wow, again. You inspire, thanks for this so brave and beautiful indeed.

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  5. jlbf4 says:

    Totally get this! Thank you for posting! It was pure panic and major shame spiral comparison when I posted my submission for Messy, Beautiful!

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    • Thank you for the empathy, support, and your note!!! Congratulations on your Brave for posting yours!! I have to be honest–I’m not in a place yet I can even read the other submissions. I really look forward to reading each one, and marinating in the courage and love in each of them. But I know I’m still in this place where I will spiral into Not Enoughness and Comparing if I read them now. This was so not the story I wanted to share, but my brain is still stuck on Freeze… Kudos to you for your strength and courage!! You’re inspiring to me! 🙂 xoxo-

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  6. And thank you for sharing YOUR brave!! We can do it together, sister. You are unique enough for me. http://bit.ly/1g3ZSFc

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    • We can indeed do it, this, and anything together, sister! 🙂 Thank you for YOUR brave, and your bruty, and your support. I love your post–I tell the kids all the time we do hard things in this family, and we practicepracticepractice. Not for perfect, but for the process of practice. Stay brave and Warrior on! 🙂

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  7. Candy says:

    I get it. I hovered over the “publish” button for way too long on mine. Getting it started in the first place was a battle I fight every time I sit down to write. I had the same issue after I completed my Listen to Your Mother submission. I nearly fainted after I sent it off…

    Know this: You are enough. And you are not alone. 🙂

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    • Yes!! I panic and feel sick for a moment when I hesitate over the Publish button. Still. Because each time I’m sharing a piece of my vulnerable self to the world. And each time I’m reminded that this is in fact not such a scary world, but a really kind, loving, supportive world–we find what we seek in life 🙂
      Thank you for your support, thank you for being here in the vulnerability with me!!

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  8. mamarific says:

    It is so hard to put ourselves out there with our writing, but I know we (and others!) are better for it. Keep up the good work & glad to have found your blog. 🙂

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  9. Margaret says:

    You touch upon so many of the messy intersections of life and writing and living an authentic life here. Thank you for being so raw and honest. Love and joy to you!

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  10. Thanks for this post. It shows me I’m not the only one struggling and that we’re all in this together. More Love to you!

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  11. pinkskyserendipity says:

    Are you in my brain?? Thank you for such an articulate post of how I felt writing my messy beautiful as well.

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    • LOL–You know what they say about great minds!! 🙂 Thank you for your support! I love how Glennon has created such a loving space concretely demonstrating how we ALL feel so much the same fears and insecurities and love. Grateful to have connected with you!!

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  12. Karen Lanser says:

    Oh my … how could you so accurately articulate what is in my heart …??? Your words mirrored my own ‘enough’ stories so poignantly that I think I was blushing a couple of times! Since ‘publishing’ my own Messy Beautiful (and I mean PUBLISHING because I’ve now exposed myself to more than the ‘few’ loyal souls who have read my words before) …I’ve been arguing with that voice in my head that shames me for thinking anyone would give a rats ass about what I have to say. However … when I read your humble and vulnerable offering I can SEE and HEAR and FEEL that YOU are a FABULOUS writer! Thank you for starting my day off with such a brutiful loving mirror! I am so glad to have met you and look forward to following you as we move forward …. Warmest smiles, Karen

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    • Oh–“How?” you ask? Because we’re all Messy Beautiful Warriors in this together! 🙂 Because we’re all deep down so much the same, when we cast the comparisons and judgments aside, when we really open up our insides, right?? Thank you for giving me the space to be your mirror–to show YOU are FABULOUS and ENOUGH and BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for allowing me the space in your life so that we can connect. Your note–brought warm tears to my eyes, and a smile. A poignant connection of kindred spirits. I am truly honored to connect with you. Thank you. I really do look forward to our journeys together as Warriors! 🙂

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  13. Thank you for your brave thoughts and vulnerability – which echo my own fears as a writer (and person in general). As I was in the process of writing and publishing my own Messy, Beautiful Warrior post, the same doubts kept bombarding me – you’re not good enough, you have nothing original to say. I feared that no one would read my words, or worse they would and they would judge me and my writing. But in writing and in life we just have to keep moving forward, trusting ourselves, and putting one foot in front of the other – keep pressing publish. Write On, Warrior!

    xo,
    Courtney

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  14. Ah yes…love you…love your blog. I discovered so much more about myself when I discovered I was good at writing and I started to release all my emotions through humor onto my keyboard into my blog. Boy I am a mess but you know what, I found out I was a pretty cool Cat! I will enjoy reading your blog!!!!

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    • Oh wow, I am the worst blogger ever, I just saw this and it’s been a month!! I’m so sorry for such a delayed response. THANK YOU for such kind words! Yes, I agree that writing is so wonderful in so many ways in discovering so many facets of oneself. And I’ve found that blogging publicly keeps me honest!! You are one very Cool Cat indeed! Thank you so much for your Cool Cat Support!!!

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  15. Pingback: An Ode to Glennon | BonneVivanteLife

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