Changing the tides

So this past year I went through some hurt. I write about it a lot because I talk about it a lot. Some people may think I talk too much about it and others may feel a relief because I talk about what it is they may feel but don’t express.

I don’t know when it happened, but at some point society decided what was appropriate and what wasn’t in regards to feelings. It’s unfortunate. We all experience pain and hardship. That is sadly a part of life, the ups and downs, twists and turns and a lot of unexpected drops.

When did we become a society who only celebrates the good in life but when the bad shows up we often pretend it’s non-existent. And if we are brave enough to share boldly, often times it is met with a “it’ll be ok” or “just be strong” statement.

I get the idea that we are trying to help each other, but I am beginning to think it’s a cop-out response because when the hard times hit, how are we supposed to respond?

It is like the times I will walk up to a cashier and ask “hi how are you?” and the question is passed over because more times than not, they don’t get asked the simple question of ‘how’s your day going?’ I only know this because the look I get when they register that I asked them a question, it’s not bad, it’s just shocked. Now I’m not saying I asked every single person how they are doing BUT I do try to make the effort to connect with another human being.

It’s sad to think that our society does not really know how to have a discussion. I choose not to watch any political debate on a news channel because rarely to I hear two individuals in conversation. I often times feel like I’m watching elementary aged kids going back and forth without actually listening to what the other person is saying.

I love this quote…

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. — Stephen R. Covey

Isn’t that the absolute truth? How many times do we cut someone off from finishing their statement? How many times do we get into unnecessary arguments only to find out that we both were arguing the same point but were coming from different view points? I know that happens so often to me. I do make an effort to understand but the habit of responding happens more times than I liked to admit. The idea of allowing someone to finish is something that doesn’t get practiced enough.

But that was not the point of my writing today… Really I wanted to focus on this idea of changing the tides of conversations. In all of my grief-stricken moments or the times I just shared from my heart, sometimes the absolute best response I could have gotten was I’m sorry you are feeling that way. I wasn’t looking for answers, I wasn’t looking to explain my grief… Most days I just wanted to be seen for where I was at and showed some love. I know that I received a TON of support and love, that was what I feel was the intention by so many, but there were times I just wanted to be heard, validated and comforted.

I’m forever grateful for everyone’s kind words and I absolutely felt seen and loved by the stories people shared with me, even the men. It was incredibly comforting to know that I was not alone, and that is why I feel the need to encourage each other to share what is on their hearts. I think the reason I was able to process the grief was because I was able to unload all of the emotions of what I had been through. It brought me closer to people than I had ever felt before when I had my wall up.

The trust and acceptance were overwhelming and I truly believe that IF we were to LISTEN to each other not for the sake of responding but simply for the sake of being HEARD, the world would become a little more connected. A little more understanding and there would be a lot more love.

Whether it be the pain we feel or the confusion we experience I think there is possibility of healing when we allow others to share those experiences as well. It does require us to be bold but the freedom from the pain when it is shared is something I will cherish forever. Yes I was scared when I shared my story but each time I shared it, it got a little easier to accept and because it was easier to accept, it was easier to move through.