Have you ever been the one who first hears your friend’s tragic news? Maybe they call you, maybe they show up at your door. How do you react? I’ve been the one who first heard of the tragedy when my friend’s boyfriend had left this world way too soon. He was too young, and we were too young. How did I react? It’s hard to remember, but amidst the initial shock, I’m sure that I tried to be the strong one. Allowing my friend to cry, but not wanting her to see my tears. I do remember hugging her and telling her it would be okay. Someone had to be strong. I had to be there for her. But, what if the brave face that we try to put on isn’t what it needed at that moment?
When I received news of my Dad’s passing, I was initially in shock. I came out of a yoga class, feeling calm, relaxed and ready for my Saturday. I saw the missed calls on my phone and knew that wasn’t a good sign. My worst fears were true. How could the world go on without my Dad? After a hug and an “I love you” from my teacher and calling my family, I called my friend Amanda. What if she didn’t pick up? She had to pick up, and she did. As I shared my news and she talked to me as I drove home, I realized she was crying. I asked if she was crying, and she said yes, stating she wasn’t good in these situations. Actually, she was perfect in this situation, at that moment. I didn’t need anyone to tell me it was going to be okay. I didn’t need anyone to be strong for the both of us. I needed someone to cry with me, 700 miles away. My tears were her tears. Although she hadn’t ever suffered the loss of a parent, she could feel my pain and sadness. She may have wanted to be strong, but she didn’t have to be. She reacted authentically, as she knew that her friend had suffered a deep loss. She shared her tears with me.
We all experience a wide range of emotions, amazing and not so amazing. These emotions are what make the world and human experience beautiful. Our deepest emotions, our authenticity. We have the choice to mask our feelings, or allow them to be expressed. We are taught to be strong. But, what if feeling and showing our true emotions is what is needed at that moment? What if it isn’t weakness, but part of healing? So the next time your loved one calls you with devastating news, allow your tears to flow if you feel like crying. Allow your loved one to know that you feel their loss and share their pain. Sometimes that is what they need. We can all put on a brave face another day, at another moment.
We all have those moments that we wish we could take back. Maybe you are not feeling quite yourself, and your frustration comes across to your loved ones or even a stranger. Maybe it’s a word that can’t be taken back, or maybe it’s a look on your face. Once you retreat, you feel terrible. Why did you act that way? How can you make it better?
It’s easy to blame it on the weather or the lack of sleep you got last night. But, what was the real reason? If we take the time to reflect, we can usually find it. Once we are aware of our emotions, we have the choice to feel bad about ourselves or to take responsibility and forgive ourselves. Often times, our one moment of weakness is something that we continue to replay in our minds, only making ourselves feel worse. But there are other options. What if we treat ourselves like our best friend would, and give ourselves grace? What if we allow ourselves to forgive ourselves instead of magnifying our flaws? What if we take a moment to journal and give ourselves the space to figure out what is really happening?
As human beings, we are experiencing a whole range of emotions and thoughts, while trying to appear like we have it all together. We are rewarded for our accomplishments, and time spent renewing our spirits can be put on the back burner. But, if we don’t take time for ourselves, no one else will. So, the next time you aren’t feeling as good as you would like to, take a few moments to breathe, check in, and give yourself grace.
Written by Tracey Lemming
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
I like to know what to expect. If I am going somewhere unfamiliar (or even familiar), I like to set my map so I know exactly when I need to leave in order to arrive on time, the best route, and where the traffic may be. If I’m going to a new restaurant, I like to read the menu online so I’m prepared on what to order, and read the reviews so I know others opinions.
We live in a world where so much can be anticipated, so much can be planned. I once was talking with my friend Amanda about how most people go to the same 25 places, even though we live in a world with so many options. We go to the same Target, the same Post Office, and park in the same spots. Think about it. When was the last time you went to a new store or park, just for the fun of it?
Our minds like routines, and we feel like we are more efficient and prepared when we know what to expect. But where does the growth and beauty lie? It lies in the unknown. It lies in pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone and trying something new. It’s in the space to explore and learn. After awhile, the unknown becomes our new routine. It becomes our new normal. Then the question is, what next?
Sometimes we choose to try the unknown, but sometimes it’s forced on us. Our world falls apart as we know longer know the exact path to follow. What once fit, no longer does. We lose a loved one or suffer a loss, and our world changes. We can’t go back, even though we want to. We are forced to navigate a new path. The person we were is no longer there, and others don’t always understand. How can they? They are forced to navigate a new path as well, as you become a new version of yourself. They expect you to act in a familiar way, and your new way of being throws them for a loop as well. Maybe they reach out, maybe they don’t. Maybe they give advice when it’s not asked. But listening to the wisdom of your own soul is the only knowing that you need. You know that there’s a lesson in this all. You know that your story can help someone, and that even though you can’t always see it, there is beauty in the unknown.