A very dear friend of mine nearly lost his sister to tragic circumstances 13 days ago. I can’t speak for her, for him or for their parents or friends. I can only share how this horribly sad situation is affecting me. As I ponder the despondence that chaperoned her down this harrowing and dark course, I can’t help but reflect upon my own life and the lives of the ones I love. I’m questioning everything and yet, I feel as though I understand.
One of the messages I thread through much of my writing and through my actions is the need for each of us, from birth, to be heard. To be seen. To be understood. I can’t say it enough, and I find that it applies to any and every situation I come across.
Since the moment I first gave birth, I somehow instinctively understood this and it’s the constant force behind my patience, my understanding, my listening, my love. It is the feeling that led me to Attachment Parenting without even knowing what that meant. If only we each had this gift from another, I truly believe, things would be different. We would be different. We wouldn’t be desperately longing for the kind of connection to nurture our soul in ways that only one where someone truly hears us, provides. The love and acceptance we long for outside of ourselves appear much differently when we truly accept and embrace the love we first need for ourselves.
When I witness someone suffering, including myself, I realize that we are either too afraid to share our pain, we allow ourselves to be honest and vulnerable and we are then judged, misunderstood or dismissed, or we really don’t have anyone we feel connected to and trust in such a way to provide the necessary space we need for the disclosure. Some also unconsciously bury the pain so deep that they pretend and act as if it doesn’t even exist. They create worlds and scenarios that camouflage their suffering even deeper. They believe that if anyone knew, they would die. The shame. The fear. The secrets. Each of these will kill us before the shock of anyone finding out the truth will.
Whichever reality it is, they all lead us down the same path. We end up feeling frightened. Ashamed. Unworthy. Isolated. Alone. We are too afraid to ask for help, and we often feel we have the tools to manage it all. On our own. Eventually.
We then continue on with secrets and delicate, sometimes beautiful facades to protect ourselves from anyone ever knowing the truth. In many cases, we clearly hear and see the desperate cries for help. We see the reckless, unabashed behavior and we do our best to lend a hand. Take control. Offer advice, guidance, comfort, love, support. We talk amongst each other as we scramble for answers. We may get lucky enough to save them from themselves. We may not.
In other cases, you would never know of the pain and struggles one faces. Their facades are not as transparent. You might believe you know them. Their truth. Their smiling face and laborious achievements may prove that they are all powerful and strong beyond anything you could imagine. You might even envy them. They, too, are silently suffering in some way. We all are. I believe.
Another unfortunate sufferance I presume we each face at some point is the feeling of not being good enough. We compare ourselves to others and we allow the persuasive “less than” feeling to hold us back. I know I do. I often wish this obtrusive and provoking noise would evaporate into the air from which it came. It loves to make appearances though: Just when I think I’m strong and free, it stops in to challenge me yet again.
I am a very sensitive person and I feel everything. Acutely. Deeply. Profoundly. It doesn’t take a tragedy to awaken me to how precious this life is or how fortunate I am to live each moment I am given here. That said, it is in times of distress and tribulation when we are most aware and most vulnerable to receive the lessons we are meant to, if we allow ourselves to feel and experience all of it. If we can truly understand that we are all connected. Our energy affects everything and everyone.
My wish is for each of us to recognize and understand that we are not perfect. We don’t have to be perfect. We each have a purpose and our own unique being with which to carry that out. We can ask for help when we need it. We are good enough. We are worthy of love. We are transcendent.
If we are fortunate enough to know each other already or we are still yet to cross paths in this lifetime or another, I want you to know that I see you. I hear you. I love you.