The Edge.


I was inspired by a recent post my friend Renee wrote about seeing the edge of her personal growth in her writing and the books she reads. I was in the midst of a funky week when I read it so the idea of "my edge" got hooked in my craw and didn't budge. 

Because I was feeling my edge, I just hadn't recognized it as such.

Like Renee's my edge is tied to my writing. But it's also tied to how I respond to how you respond to my writing. (Convoluted? Stick with me for a minute.)


My edge. The cusp of who I am becoming. My struggles and strengths, the things I dread and the things I embrace.

you, I am learning and growing everyday. It's just uncomfortable
sometimes so I don't always see the benefits those struggles hold. I wish them away and invite ease to replace anxiety in those moments.

But without the discomfort that lies at "my edge" I suspect I would miss so much.

Because beneath our day-to-day existence is the stretching and growing and sometimes uncomfortable becoming that is at the core of why we're all here.


Sometimes I'd love to trade in my demons (and all the discomfort they bring) for a different lot. But
when I look closely at the ones I have, they look familiar. I recognize
in my demons the same essence that I see in my gifts.

they mirror each other so closely that I can't tell one from the other.
So wishing away my demons would in fact be wishing away my gifts in the
same breath.

What has come up is my sensitivity again (What else?) and the struggles I feel when I face even the slightest criticism. Because of the nature of my life and work, that usually comes in the form of comments on thoughts I have shared through blogging – here and elsewhere. And it's hard for me. Ridiculously so.

But if my gift and my Achilles' heal are the same trait, maybe I can find a way to embrace and accept all of me.

So at my edge today is self-love and acceptance. 

It isn't about hardening my shell or becoming someone I am not. As a well-meaning professor suggested a lifetime ago, "Rachel, you've got to grow a thicker skin!" I believed him then. But today? I'm thinking maybe not.

Because I've been swimming against that current for my whole life and I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere.

I am thinking instead about recognizing and accepting myself, my strengths and weaknesses and allowing it all to be. Allowing me to be me, without wishing to shift one piece to make life more easy and comfortable. And while I do I will surely be evolving, changing, growing just the same – but without the pressure on becoming someone I am not.


Would you benefit from a dose of self-love and acceptance?

I think we
all would. To stop wishing we were something we are not, to stop
comparing ourselves, criticizing ourselves, or questioning ourselves. To stop hating those who have what we do not, or hating ourselves for who we are or how we tick.

To see our "gifts" and our "demons" and embrace them without these labels. To see them simply as a part of us without judgement.

So while some of my traits make me smile and other parts make my stomach do a flip when they surface, I will try to embrace both. Because it's a bit of a package deal,
isn't it? I can't be sensitive (which makes me me) and let criticism roll off of my back like nothing.

They are the same trait, just different moments. And slowly, slowly, I am learning how to love and embrace all of me.

What about you? Do you see the reflection of your gifts in your struggles? What do you wrestle with that you could learn to embrace?

Wishing you the gift of self-love and acceptance in the coming days.


28 thoughts on “The Edge.

  1. renee @ FIMBY says:

    I love it. I love your edge and I love who you are Rachel. My own demon/edge is insecurity – in many forms. I think I can get over it, work through it, overcome it, but it continues to limp along behind me. So I’m learning to live with it and even accept this part of myself even as I seek to grow more secure in my writing, parenting, loving etc. And it really does come back to loving and accepting myself. All my strengths and weaknesses and quirks.

    What a great post.

  2. Emily says:

    You give me courage. Thank you for sharing so deeply about yourself and your insecurities! i am a new blogger and I’m really struggling with some of these issues- fear of criticism, self-acceptance, confidence. Last night I really fought with myself over some of this stuff, and slept badly as a result. Today I woke up, made coffee, and read your post, and the world (and my blog) seems full of hope and possibility again.

    Thank you!

  3. Angie says:

    I’m with ya sista! One breath at a time. Whether close to the edge, on the edge, or over the edge we are there and dealing with it in that moment. You do great things, challenge yourself and others and are willing to share that with whoever cares to listen (and even some who don’t want to but do anyway). It is bold and courageous and I can only imagine how it is scary and awful somedays. Way to take on your edge, and at the same time encourage the rest of us to do the same in our own ways, and everyday being brave enough to be you. You’ve really already taken the plunge over the edge so now it’s figuring out how to sit back and enjoy the ride!

  4. Stacey says:

    exactly!! i have also heard those messages and have been fighting similar demons my whole life- you are too sensitive, need a thicker skin, shouldn’t be so emotional. But yes my empathy and compassion and sensitivity to all the good things comes from the same place — my creativity and view of the world as well!

    Thanks for writing this — self love and acceptance is exactly what I’m needing today 🙂

  5. KC says:

    I see all of my flaws in the things I don’t like about my toddler. Which is really hard but also a blessing as it allows me to work on myself while helping her to learn to be in this modern world of ours. Learning to be part of society is a really hard thing.

    So I see lack of patience, willingness to share, stubbornness. So really they are not so much things I don’t like about her but things I want to change in me. But those traits have allowed me to follow my heart no matter who tells me I can’t do them. 🙂

  6. kara decarlo says:

    Thank you.

    Part of my self-acceptance struggle was realizing that the people I WANT in my life are the people who love me even when I feel squirmy and uncomfortable. And that other people’s opinions can’t change me.

  7. Mikaela says:

    Such a thought-provoking piece. I’m so glad you wrote about this. The idea of learning to love the things you don’t always like about yourself is an important one. I hope to carry this with me this fall, as I begin a professional graduate program where I don’t always feel I belong (in so many senses of the word). I’m definitely at my edge right now, and it certainly feels uncomfortable. Perhaps this idea will help me get out of this emotional place, or allow me to feel more comfortable being in it. Either way, thank you!

  8. Jess says:

    I honestly feel as though as I was reading through your post I had to convince myself that I didn’t write it in my sleep. I could not have placed better words or values to the like season that I am finding myself in recent months (years?). Thank you for your honest words, I am so grateful.

  9. Rachel S. says:

    Love this Rachel! This is a message that has been popping up on my horizon recently. Also, accepting my “flaws” fully allows me to appreciate my children and spouse’s weakness/strength (as they are one in the same), which changes how I relate to them so much. The struggle for me is to remember this, and I thank you for writing as you do, it is a constant reminder of these things!

  10. carrie in ns says:

    Thank you for the lovely, gritty post- I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and have really been enjoying your ability to speak openly, clearly- you’ve given me much inspiration- I really hear you about the sensitivity having two sides- for so long, I tried to grow that shell too- but, as you say, that’s just becoming someone else- and things don’t work that way- so, we carry on- just getting the love out!

  11. Karen says:

    Thank you, Rachel, I really needed to hear this today. My gift/demon is my need for perfection – in my parenting, marriage, writing, art, home-making – everything! I am capable of so much, but I despair of myself because, of course, perfection is unattainable. I have been wondering lately how to get through this because it is making me so miserable, but I will take away from your post that maybe, there is no way though, just acceptance that it is all part of me. I just need to work out a way to live with it.

  12. Robyn says:

    OK, so this isn’t exactly on topic, but your post today made me think about my parenting. we are dealing with sleep issues again with baby #2, just as we did with baby #1, and i’m starting to realize that it’s probably a good deal my fault. I rush to my babies the minute they stir, (cosleeping makes this impossible not to do). i hold or wear them during naps. i nurse them back to sleep before they even have a chance to cry. of course they aren’t going to sleep through the night at 4 months…i’ve done nothing to discourage them from needing me (or now Daddy too) during sleep.

    But i decided, i’m ok with it. that was a huge revelation. i don’t care if he sleeps through the night. i’d rather him always know i’ll be there for him. i told people this is how i felt with baby #1, but i didn’t really feel it in my heart till how. the first time around, i had doubts that i was doing it wrong. but now i realize this is the kind of mother i want to be, and this is how i want to do it. and i’m not going to let the haters make me question myself this time.

    I know that was a long comment and most readers will gloss over it and not read it, but it was very therapeutic for me to write that out…thanks Rachel for providing the outlet!

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