One thing we talk about here in this place is this: You are not alone. Feeling as if we are alone in our painful experiences elevates our stress and moves us into resistance, away from self-compassion.
Connie Schultz, who self describes as, “Columnist, j-prof, wife, mom, g’ma. Won Pulitzer, which never impressed my dog,” shared a story. This morning she was sitting in the airport…I’ll let her tell you what happened.
I’m sitting at the airport, eating oatmeal and downloading photos onto my computer, when the conversation two tables away grows louder. I look over at the two men – both around my age, I guess – and one of them says to me, “You look like someone who believes her.”
I ignore the speech unspooling in my head and say only, “I do.”
I hear the shuffle of feet behind me. “So do I.” a woman says.
I turn to look at her. She looks to be about my age too, and is standing with a younger man. He quickly wraps his arm around her shoulder.
The two men at the table shake their heads, stand up and walk away.
“I’ve never done something like that in my entire life,” the woman says. The young man hugs her and says, “I love you, Mom.”
And now I can barely see my computer screen.
I may be bone-weary today, but I will never give up on my fellow humans.
Feeling alone pushes us toward distrusting our experiences rather than acknowledging and healing them. When we are brave and share our experiences in a safe space, we encounter a tribe who can be with us as we wrestle with our stories. And, we often will hear an echo of “me too, me too, me too.”
There are people who will listen to our stories and hold them as we heal. Find someone. Tell your story. Wrestle with it, be held within it. It is part of the mosaic that has molded a very beautiful you.