What is it about holidays that can make you feel so alone?
Yesterday was a difficult day, which frustrated me. What is it about holidays that can make you feel so alone? Even when you’re surrounded by people that you love.
Perhaps it’s similar to the effect social media has on a person’s soul; The idea or concept that everyone else is doing it better. The holiday. Life.
2020 has proven to be a complicated and distressing year – For so many reasons and for so many people. What a year, huh? Chaos is no longer contained in my kitchen and living room filled with toys, but everywhere I seem to look. Yesterday alone was a divisive holiday; To celebrate it or not to celebrate it, what colors to wear, what to do, who to spend it with – social distancing or not.
In 2020, as we move forward - if nothing else, take comfort that you aren’t alone – No matter what foot you stand on, your situation in life, sign you hold, or mask you wear. This? This I can promise you. You are NOT alone.
I’ve been forced to do a lot of soul searching this year, so I thought I would share a very few select things I need to continue to acknowledge in my life – If for no one else but myself:
Empathy is lacking in the world today. People feel alone in so many struggles that life faces us with. The irony is that everyone faces struggles. Everyone. I’ve discovered the quickest way to understand that concept is to show your weaknesses, show your sore spots, reveal your imperfections (first step would be to admit you have them). It’s the quickest way to find out what’s really underneath “it all” and when you get to really understand someone; That’s when empathy happens. Because really who in the hell has this all figured out? The quicker we can all admit that? The sooner we can come together and recognize that we’re all realistically in the same boat. Ok. Maybe not the same boat, but a boat nonetheless.
The world is divided and ugly in so many ways. It’s not the first time in history and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last. But when did we stop agreeing to disagree? When did everyone else’s way of life become more or less than another’s? Why is there less discussion about all the things and more discussion around who is right/wrong? Or what side you “cheer” for? Where’s the gray area? Cause man, I feel like life is way more gray than black and white - Especially in a time when I feel like NO ONE knows what the heck is going on. Why can’t we see life IS gray… Or at least that’s where I live - The gray zone - Seeking to understand instead of always seeking to just be understood. My voice is not the only voice and while I’m not ashamed of it, I’m also open to listening to another’s voice and accepting that my voice isn’t always correct. Don’t get me wrong… I hate it when I’m wrong, but I’ll admit it when I need to. Like do you put cups up or down when you put them away in the cupboard? I mean… Sometimes you gotta mix things up when you all of a sudden realize another way makes more sense.
Humans are beautiful creatures. Complicated. Happy. Sad. Depressed. Joy filled. Selfish. Thoughtful. Lonely. Scared. Content. Do your best to lean on the positive side. Find your people, because here’s the thing… To waste time on the ones that don’t have a general interest in YOUR well-being, isn’t worth your time. The ones not willing to go above and beyond for you… They are not your people. There are people out there who will be genuinely interested in you as YOU, genuinely concerned FOR you, genuinely love you even with your imperfections or when they disagree with you… And they will show you that – All things aside. Find THOSE people. Find the people who will fight for you when you’re feeling weak – Even when it’s uncomfortable or complicated for them. Your faults (everyone has them) become less of a concern in those people’s eyes, as they adore you for YOU. If you haven’t found those people? Look for them. They exist and be grateful for the ones you find.
Which brings me to… Show up. Show up for people. Show up even if you don’t want to. People thrive and crave human acceptance – Love, understanding. Make a difference in this world by being a person that “didn’t have to”, but did. Your face, your support, your words, that quick text, email, or phone call – might mean a world of difference to someone. Pull up a chair or make time to do so and let them know you’re there, especially to those who do so for you. Let them know you care. Time is too fleeting not to.
Ok, I lied. One more thing. If all else fails? Work out. I know everyone and your mother… Especially your doctor, will tell you it helps your mental health. Guess what, it really does. If you have to drag yourself out the door – Do it. It’s worth it. Who'd a thunk? Oh... Just everyone... Everywhere.