“No person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors.”
~ Adrienne Rich
I’ve noticed a worrying phenomena lately. People are going to great lengths to make their life look incredible for social media, while behind the scenes they suffer alone and unsupported.
What happened that suddenly we can only talk up the good stuff, instead of living truthfully in the world?
As our extended family structures break down, and we become more and more remote from our neighbours and communities, we become more emotionally isolated.
We stop inviting people through the door. We stop sharing the small everyday details of our lives. Instead, we carefully curate our instagram images and facebook feeds.
There is a power to living vulnerably and being able to be open about our feelings and our lives.
Of course I advise using your intuition and discretion. Not everyone is a safe pair of hands. But with so many people stressed and overwhelmed by life, with rates of anxiety and depression and chronic illness escalating, with many of us caring for children with special needs, or single parenting or caring for elderly or ill loved ones, all of us need that extra boost that caring human connection can bring.
It can give us a powerful injection of hope or resilience to find that someone else has experienced our situation or feeling. We become less isolated. Our problem becomes more a condition of life than some shameful thing to be hidden away behind the posts of artfully photographed meals or ‘effortlessly gorgeous’ glamour outfits.
My Nana always used to tell me that a problem shared is a problem halved. As a young girl that never made much sense to me, but I can see the wisdom in it now, and I agree with that wisdom entirely.
Sometimes we genuinely do need to pull back to recalibrate our sense of centre, but please don’t isolate yourself entirely. Find ways to reach out, to ask for help, to sit in the company of others, to be able to share or smile or laugh or cry with people who welcome you into their space and allow you the freedom to feel (rather than hide) your emotions.
If you know someone who is going through a rough patch, reach out to them. Let them know that they’re not alone. Ask them if they’re okay.
We’re all in this together, and no-one’s getting out alive. Let’s all practice kindness for self and for our fellow journeymakers and make life’s journey better and more real and supported for everyone.
Sending so much love your way,
Nicole <3 xx