On Sacred Space and Wanting It All
My Monday nights are sacred. I spend them with my community group of 11 other women. We laugh – oh, we laugh. It’s the really loud, genuine laughter that has nothing to do with being polite and everything to do with the hysterics of letting loose and being ourselves. We sigh – the deep kind that comes from a place of weariness we don’t need to find words with when we’re together because we all get it after another week of fighting the good fight, working hard at jobs, working hard at home, cleaning up after kids and then doing it all over again (and again and again). Inevitably, tears brim for a few who’ve had a particularly tough week; and when they spill, there are 12 wet faces in the room because women don’t let other women cry alone. We just don’t.
Believe me when I tell you our husbands and our families are happy to give us these Monday nights away. As a wise friend told me about a year and a half ago, it’s not fair to ask our husbands to be our girlfriends. We need our mothers and our sisters and our girlfriends to understand the things the men in our life never will. And that’s okay.
But there are times like last night when I leave a little bit frustrated because it feels like it shouldn’t be so hard. It’s not that we shouldn’t cry, it’s that we shouldn’t have to cry every week. Life shouldn’t be taking such a heavy toll and wearing itself all over our 20- and 30-something faces. We shouldn’t constantly feel like breaking point is only one more burnt piece of toast away.
But the alternative is giving up, and I can’t make myself believe that’s the answer. Maybe life is supposed to be that hard when we’re living it all and not content with getting by. Maybe hard is just par for the course when we’re fighting for the kids in our homes and for all of the kids outside of our homes. Maybe weariness comes when we refuse to live comfortable lives and instead fight for better marriages, better schools, stronger communities, and the list goes on.
The truth is I deeply admire the women I sit with on Monday nights, and really all of the courageous women in my life. I am humbled by the fact that I get to see them fighting and sometimes cracking, but then they get back up and keep going. I am grateful to know that when I’m flailing, I’m never flailing alone.
We’re better together, and together is when we find out that the “all” we’ve been wanting we’ve really had all along.