“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
9 thoughts on “Don’t Isolate Yourself When the Going’s Hard”
Beautifully honest and much needed expressive post today Miss Nicole ~ thank you.
For many, many years I have done just this. Yet, I always start with ‘You’re safe. So tell me what’s really going on’ and even with a slight language barrier I did this very same thing for a sweet lady just last week. To say it opened an avalanche of emotions would be an understatement yet the profound difference in her demeanour afterwards was so equally restorative for me as it was for her.
I’m a big believer in asking the ‘difficult’ questions the key lays in the finesse used to deliver it…
Big love and buckets of bisous xx
So beautiful, just reading your wise words brought a tear to my eye but also made me feel less alone. Thank you Nicole 💜🙏🏻
Synchronicity again Nicole. You may live on the other side of the world…I was feeling so lonely today. Did some gardening as suggested, ended up talking to my neighbors which usually never happens and finished with a huge hug with my ancient walnut tree. Feel much better, ta for this!
I am one of those who at times will say I am fine when I am in fact not fine, but at times my daughter will say don’t say you are fine when you are not tell me the truth mum what is wrong I don’t know why telling the truth is so hard but at times it is hard, I don’t like my family to worry about me, don’t ask me why I have no idea why I feel that way.
What a wonderful post Nicole and so true. So many people hide their true feelings and worries, try to appear as though they can cope with anything when in fact they’re aching to reach out. Let’s start this week by being more mindful and aware of everyone around us. I love that last quote.
Such a timely post Nicole. Thank you for sharing. Holding space for someone, or having someone do that for you is one of the greatest gifts we can give. xx
Sometimes it is just holding space for someone…just holding their hand and not saying a word…not even offering a tissue…just allowing them to cry, rant or whatever for as long as they need to…and you do not say a word…you are just there holding space for them.