I stumbled upon an Instagram post the other day that was especially great, greater even than the posts of cats being scared by cucumbers or those people I watched doing a frantic mini trampoline workout, believe it or not.
The writer, Lauren De Witt, introduced the idea of writing your own litany of truths. Apparently she learned about it from a Moms in Peace workshop, which I know nothing about, but I’m determined to give credit where credit is due because girl power is a thing and I am here for it.
The basic premise is something that I preach to my doula clients all the time, but oooobviously neglect to practice in my own life. I’m real good at offering sage advice to others, but real sucky at taking it myself. C’est la vie.
Any time my clients are feeling worried, doubtful, or afraid I always tell them to remember what’s true. It’s so easy to let our worry and anxiety snowball until it gets bigger and bigger and buries us completely. But we can stop that shiz right in its tracks just by naming what’s true. Once you start naming what’s true, it’s amazing to see how many falsehoods you were starting to believe.
What reminded me of the idea of making a personal litany of truth is that yesterday I ill-advisedly watched an Insta-stories post by someone detailing their homeschool work load. Y’all, is there anything that’ll make you feel like crap more than accidentally stumbling upon someone who’s doing “life” better than you? (Clearly I need to take a break from Instagram, that’s what.)
Here’s the thing: the homeschooling mom I saw is doing an incredible job with her kids. She wasn’t even pretentious or ass-holey about her homeschooling success. She was really lovely and genuinely proud of herself for homeschooling for the first time ever during the time of Covid and ain’t nobody going to fault her for that!
But for some reason her post just hit me right in the most sensitive spot in my jealous gut, the place where I’m already predisposed to feeling like a failure or at least a fraud. Y’all, this woman could’ve chronicled her own clean laundry mountain and I’d have felt like mine wasn’t good enough (and we all know my mountain of clean laundry is the best, duh).
So, as I felt myself spiraling into a pit of comparison and negative self talk, I remembered the litany of truths! For once in my life, I genuinely took my own advice and that of wonderful Lauren from the internet and wrote down a list of solid truth.
I ended up breaking it down into sections because I can’t not be verbose. Here’s what it looks like:
- My children and my husband are not my report card.
- I am not responsible for making everyone happy, but rather I am responsible for loving well the souls left to my care.
- My parenting and homeschooling are mine alone. I am not competing or comparing, not better or less than, just walking my own path.
- I am not solely responsible for how my children turn out. I am a guardian and a guide on their way, but I am not ultimately in control of who they become.
- My children are not a product I am turning out. They are people with their own free will.
- I am not responsible for other people’s emotions. I can see their emotions and try to help them, but I am not responsible for the speed at which they process or whether or not they accept my offer of help.
- Most things are not about me anyway.
- I am one person. I cannot do it all. But I can ask for help and accept it.
- My body is the dwelling place of the eternal God. When I abuse it, I abuse His temple. When I protect and care for it, I am worshipping Him.
- My anger cannot overcome or overpower me because it comes from me. Like a labor contraction, I can see it coming and ride it until it ebbs. It will subside just as quickly as it rises.
- I do not have to give space to frantic, worried thoughts. When I feel them I can stop, be still, and know that He is God. I can do this through Christ who gives me strength.
- Being a good steward of my gifts means I am allowed to devote time to my talents without feeling guilty.
- Discipline is an act of faith.
Fundamental Faith Truths:
- I need Jesus in the Sacraments to be whole.
- When I am weak, He is strong. My growth is found in humility.
- I am beloved, created by love, for love, with the mission to love while on this earth. Nothing I can do or accomplish can change that truth.
- The forces of Resistance cannot overpower the One who is in me.
- Every moment is an opportunity to choose love, to die to myself and my will, to step out in faith believing that while I am not in control, He is.
So, that’s my personal litany of truths. I’m going to keep it and maybe put it on my white board and probably sleep with it and tattoo it to my face. If you see me looking like Post Malone, you’ll know I just really need to remember what’s true, mkay?
I’ll probably add to and take stuff away, but I’m pretty jazzed about how good it made me feel to just write all that out. I highly recommend it as a simple, concrete way to feel better about life. This has been my PSA, please go write true things down and be good to yourself.
You can find Lauren De Witt’s original post on Instagram @thecontemplativehomemaker…she’s a real good follow and her own litany is just beautiful.
As always, I hope you know how wonderful you are, my friends. You’re really important and even more loved. So go put that on your own list of truth. That’s an order!