In the past several weeks, I’ve been inundated with new clients who have just recently lost loved ones and others who are dealing with very difficult issues. While I fully understand that I can’t “make someone feel better,” I confess that when my schedule gets so full with people who are hurting so much, I begin to struggle with whether I am capable of saying the right things to help them all. I know that the reality is that WHAT we say seldom helps. What helps most is that we sit with the person in pain and allow them to feel what they need to feel. Sometimes it helps to share a little about similar feelings we’ve had so they understand that we get it. But, because everyone grieves differently and every grief is different, we can’t really completely get it. Grief has a way of breaking us open and leaving us feeling more vulnerable than ever before. This is most difficult for those of us who tend to be the givers of the world.
I’m working on a blog about giving and receiving help, but it sometimes takes me several weeks for a blog to germinate, make sense and to actually say what I really want to say. So in the mean time, I’m re-posting one of my favorite readings about the misconception most of us hold that we should always be strong. When we’re in the midst of a loss, or when we become overwhelmed with life for any reason, we tend to berate ourselves for being “weak”. As the reading says, we aren’t weak, and all we can do is enough. In fact, I found myself quoting part of this reading to a client just the other day. I needed to read it again, and I hope it helps you as well.
We don’t always have to be strong to be strong. Sometimes our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track.
We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot be strong.
There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Occasionally, we don’t want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes, we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability or anger.
Those days are okay. They are just okay.
Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to “fall apart” when we need to. We do not have to be perpetual towers of strength. We are strong. We have proven that. Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.
THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO/Melody Beattie