I think the idea of balance and that we, as women, have the right to have it takes us by surprise. And forget about an inner self. We wouldn't recognize her if we saw her.
Our culture pushes the idea of women who are always on the go, and too often that's true. We're all so very busy. Our health, our well-being, goes on the back burner. It's not necessarily a martyr complex, although sometimes it is.
The hardest part is believing we have the right to be in balance, to cultivate our inner self, and to let our inner and outer selves match. Much of the time, our grief, anger, fear is hidden, even from ourselves. We put on a mask, keep our mouths shut, and soldier on because we believe there is no other option.
Being weak, giving ourselves a break--forget about it. Even when our dearest friend calls us on it, we may scoff and wonder how we can possibly let go, of pretenses, of situations, of people, of choices.
The trick is to somehow realize that being human isn't being weak. We have the right to break under undue burdens. We can always duct tape afterwards. But if we don't allow ourselves the right to break when necessary, I think we rob ourselves of the chance to increase our flexibility, our empathy, our ability to bend.
So balance is the quest: a balance that lets us nurture our soul and our children's souls, that lets us be ourselves, so that we are not shocked and grieved when we hear one of our children say to her sibling, "Mom looks happy," with a sound of surprised awe in her voice. Because if it's been so long since our children have seen a genuine look of happiness on our face that it merits mention, it's been way too fucking long since we've been happy.