Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Raise Your Hand If You Ever Feel Like Losing It

Is there one body without a hand raised out there?

Every day pressures in our own lives can bombard us. Not to mention, all the societal issues we witness each day.

Week three into 2011 and I've had a hard time keeping it together already.  Almost 2 weeks after the Tucson shooting tragedy, and I am still stunned, shocked and saddened. Every aspect of who I am was rocked by that event.

Wife -  among the victims there were at least two husbands and one husband-to-be. 
Mother -   all the victims were someone's child
Public Servant -  the presumed target was an elected official

I've lost sleep. I've cried. And I had downright fear last week and I went to our first village meetings of the new year.

Imagine that. And I'm not even sharing all the personal challenges I am facing already in this young new year.

One of my observations about people is that, more often than not, they want to keep a game face on rather than deal with the anxieties that shake them.  It's easier to paint on a fake smile and not really feel the "blows" we're dealt in life.  It's easier to say “I'm fine” rather than pause and be truthful. I actually practice being truthful in an approriate way as much as possible and a few days ago I learned something huge from my five year old.

Evan joined me one recent morning in "the green chair." "The green chair" is a comfortable, cozy spot that the whole family fights for when we are all awake. I get up at 5:15 am daily to enjoy it in peace. He climbed in about 6 am and asked "what's wrong, Mommy? You seem sad." Split second decision - do I fake it for this emotionally astute sweetie or do I gently share?

"Well - I am sad and have a few hurt feelings right now but I'm gonna be ok," I stammered out with a smile. With a caress to cheek and a smile he replies, "ok, then. I love you." and bounced off.

Not only did I feel better immediately but GET THIS - later that night when putting Evan to bed, he asked to pray.

"And Lord - help anyone who has hurt feelings to be healed. Amen" was his final request.

I can't help but smile even as I write, my 5 year old boy lent me a hand of support during a rough patch. He did not cower or wince because Mommy had a weak moment and shared it with him. Oh - quite the opposite - he stepped up. And that's the point.

Regardless your role - wife, mother, husband, father, business owner, employee - it's okay to feel down. It's okay to feel scared. It's okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to not "have it together" every day, all the time. And it's okay to share that with others.

In fact it's imperative to share your fears, anxieties and hurts with those you do life with. That's the only way they can support you and help you through the rough spot. It also reassures others that they can share their rough times with you.

So now I have a new question;  Raise your hand if you are going to let others know when you feel down?

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