“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”
~ Fred Rogers
Since early this year I’ve noticed an unusual and promising trend – people talking!
Not just any kind of talking. Not just pass-the-time-of-day conversations. No. I mean real conversations, with all manner of self-disclosure.
An elderly relative of ours who has long struggled with mood swings and lapsing into periods of angry not-talking and self-imposed isolation, recently confessed to my husband that she was feeling cranky and out of sorts and didn’t know why. It didn’t feel good, she said. She didn’t know what to do about it. It was the first time she had ever talked about her feelings.
A long-time friend invited us to share supper with her. As we sat out under the trees, surrounded by fairy lights on a balmy summer’s night, our friend began talking. This is a friend who has NEVER talked about herself, and instead has always cleverly deflected questions, talked about politics or the weather, and turned conversation back to us. Ben and I sat, mesmerised, as she talked long into the night about her early life, her career, and her relationships. Interlaced with reflection and feelings. Stories she’s never shared before.
While sitting with neighbours earlier this month, sharing belated Christmas drinks, my neighbour talked about remembering flying in the night sky when she was a child. After which we all shared similar strange memories and experiences that we had always held close to us, for fear of judgement.
It’s a taste of these new energies we are moving into. Sharing our stories, discussing our feelings, voicing our fears – all of these things bring us closer together, and help us to understand that we are not alone. That our supposed strange and lonely path is actually a journey walked and understood by many.
I have a simple favour to ask.
Next time you’re meeting with family or friends, put your phone away. Banish the screens. Take time to be with each other. Give these new energies a chance to work their magic by being present and truly listening to the people you are with. Be brave enough to offer your own feelings, thoughts and experiences into the conversation.
Be part of this revolution of connection.
Much love, Nicole <3 xx