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Moving Towards a Mess

Someone once looked at my life, my habits and my food—and their reaction was:  I don’t think I can help you.

I hadn’t thought about that statement at the time, really.

Because for so long, I sort of felt like I was unreachable, unworthy, un-help-able… I sort of glossed over the idea that someone else agreed with me.

But the more I soaked on it, I realized what a massive dose of bullsh*t that was.

I don’t think I can help you.
I don’t think I can help you.
I don’t think I can help you.

Like I was a repeat-offender grand-theft auto felon with crazy eyes trying to secure a supervisor job at the DMV. #vroomvroom

I was unhelpable? I was unreachable? Interestingly and thankfully, I refused to accept that. And it didn’t matter what anyone said–I was moving towards something.

John Hambrick is the author of the book “Move Towards the Mess,” and while I feel compelled to apologize for my use of my language and subsequently referencing his book, I will just leave it. (Shrugs.)

The book summary states: “the opposition is real and the stakes are extraordinary. It will get messy. It won’t always be comfortable. But you’ll make a difference. And you’ll discover that nobody’s bored out there. Nobody.”

I realized that I always move towards the mess.

No one or nothing is too messy for me.

A lot of times, I move towards the “mess” and jump right into it, and join the mess and get dragged down by the mess. (Which I think misses the point slightly).

BUT. I don’t put on some face that I can help someone and think: this person can’t be helped.  Or, what a mess. I certainly don’t blink wide-eyed and pretend I can help, while thinking: you are helpless.

If I am talking to a person, usually I am thinking, “how can I help you?”  Not necessarily at a party or lunch… I don’t mean in every situation.  (That would be weird.)

“Would you like to go to lunch with me, Mere?”
“HOW CAN I HELP YOU!?” (No. Not that.)

But certainly when someone says, “Here I am. I have ____ issue. Can you help me?”

My answer is usually, “What can I do?”

That doesn’t mean I always know what to do.
That doesn’t mean that I am right.
That doesn’t mean I have the best advice or listening ear or even the knowledge required to truly help.

But my first reaction is NEVER, “I can’t help this person.”

Because I can help someone. In some way. Because I will damn sure try.  My first reaction is never: “helpless.”

I have made a ton of big mistakes. But I have never, not once in my life, looked at ANYONE and thought them helpless.

I asked myself that question this morning, “Is this true, Mere? Do you really think that no one is helpless?”

And I realized affirmatively, YES.  I believe that with ALL of me.


Because I have been there. I have been on the other side. I have to believe that to be truth–because it IS truth, and it’s what has helped me become a better version of me.  After all, I have been deemed helpless and worthless… and I moved beyond it.

One of the best things I have done in my own life is move towards my own mess.

In moving towards my mess(es), I have learned a very valuable process, method and reality of how to help others.

In my messiness, I have caused a lot of problems for myself and others. But I also have developed a tremendous resilience, purpose and care for others.

Because I have suffered, have walked through the fire (and yes, actual fire), and have come out on the other side as me.

Just me. The perfectly fine person who was always here.

SO when I see a so-called messy situation, I have no issue moving towards it.

I am not a mess.

[I have parts of me that are messy.]

You are not a mess.

[You have parts of you that are messy.]

And that’s what makes us valuable.

And guess what? Everyone has some mess.

Just don’t let anyone declare you a mess. Certainly don’t let anyone juxtapose themselves as the perfect-got-it-together person and you as some helpless, contrasting mess. This is not truth.

And if and when you realize this is happening… wake up.

Peace out and lean on your own value.

Stop calling yourself mess. We are out thoughts, our labels, our adjectives.  

We live our truths.

You have messes.

You are not a mess.


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