If there’s ONE thing I feel best describes my outlook on just about everything, it’s that there is always a best way. Minus a few scenarios in life where right and wrong apply in a more black and white way, I feel most situations, decisions, and methods-of can be done in a best way; parenting, taking trips, birthing babies, where and how your home looks, the career path you take, how you operate your business, your approach to finances, marriage values, making and nurturing friendships, celebrating holidays and birthdays, and the list goes on!
I can’t recall when I started looking at my life through the lens of my way being the best for me. Perhaps it was once I got into a groove as a mother with a then toddler Lachlan. But when I did, I noticed how many feelings of shame, guilt, worry, and panic seemed to disappear. It felt like making my decisions and owning them became less of a paralyzing process. I started feeling more free. I became a little more unapologetic.
While I’m all for self-improvement and always seeking to make my life more fulfilled, productive, and joyful under the influence of others (whether I’m taking information away from a book, podcast, personal conversation, blog post, etc), I’m also cool with trusting that my way is often good enough, and as a result, the best way for me.
Some tangible ways I help keep perspective on the best way apart from what’s may be consider right or wrong:
• Keeping my definition of success present in my heart and head at all times. If a way I approach something (let’s say choosing to work only three days a week) points towards my definition of success (which is in this season to be present and fulfilled both at home with my family and at work during scheduled time), then it’s best for me. While a three-day work week might not be right for a full time stay-at-home mom of triplets and it could be wrong for a woman who works 50 hours a week outside the home, it’s best for me and that’s all that matters.
• My best way is flexible and non-linear. Meaning a best way now might not be the best way in a week, month, or year. Giving myself permission to change my mind on what’s best for me and our family has been powerful. For example, the best way for me to give birth to Lachlan was as naturally as possible, with little medical intervention and medication, so I could feel like the experience was peaceful and sacred. And because as a strong-willed woman I wanted the satisfaction of overcoming the challenge. However, that best way quickly changed when a miserable labor led to a scary emergency c-section to safely deliver our boy. I’m so grateful for that flexibility (even if it was forced) because it led to a sweet little boy, and an elective surgery delivery with out second son. Sometimes what I think is the right way, becomes my best way, but then that best way changes too. That’s ok.
• Our family’s and my version of the best way may, and usually does, greatly differ from our friends’ and families’ approaches. Some of my very greatest friends have very different best ways from me. And that’s a beautiful gift I’ve come to use as an inspirational tool rather than a measuring stick. While I used to get frustrated and often feel like because their best ways were different than my best ways I must be wrong, I have now flexed my empathy and compassion muscles in new ways. Keeping perspective and remembering how personal the decision making process can be is helpful to discern between right and wrong versus best.
What are some of the approaches or systems in your life that are best for you? How do you lean into being more unapologetic with your decisions and feelings? Do you feel like your world is more black and white or does it consistently border on the grayscale? I’d love to hear more below. Xo