Why is it so darn hard to stop and tend to our sorrow during a hard season?
And why does it feel so unnatural to be sad?
Why isn’t our society able to help us heal?
No wonder we find it difficult to take time off work, or let go of our responsibilities.
It is like we are being dragged by a fast moving train and we won’t let go of the railing. Because if we did, what would people think of us?
What would happen to all the things and all the people who are on that train?
Who would fuel the train and keep it going if we had to take a break?
Who would carry the load if we could not do it.
Dare we even ask anyone?
Dare we say I am sorry but I need to take time off?
We even convince ourselves that we don’t need it.
I sure did this week.
We feel shame even asking for some time to be with ourselves, and hold our own hand during a tough transition.
Whatever that may be. Empty nest. Divorce proceedings.
Someone dying on us. A tough medical diagnosis.
An argument with someone in our lives.
A tough day at work. Whatever it is we are struggling with.
We don’t let go of that train.
So we get back to life with a limp.
We get back on that horse while we are injured.
Sure we make it work.
But nothing heals the right way.
And we wonder where anxiety comes from. Well, let’s look no further.
Anxiety is the injury that didn’t have time to heal.
It’s the echo of the silent crying.
The voice that is never allowed to speak.
I know, I know I sound dramatic.
But this world we live in, is no place for vulnerability.
No wonder Brene Brown became so famous with her work.
But even after all these years of her saying it, writing, speaking it we still live in a world that won’t let us off that train when we are broken hearted.
Something tells me that a kinder, softer world may not be coming anytime soon.
I am sorry.
But I can’t give us fake hope.
What would be the point of telling you that one day we will all live in a world that sees grief as a sign of strength and intelligence?
But I am going to say something else.
Maybe the kind and compassionate world we seek can only be created in smaller groups.
A tight knit community.
Where we have a common goal, and similar beliefs.
These days I keep myself in circles with people I feel comfortable with.
With people who don’t believe in perfection, they have had tons of loss and are mostly as strange as I am.
I hope this letter is reminding you of two things.
Slow down when you are sad.
And find people who will make you feel OK when you do.
Here’s to a slow day if your heart is hurting.
And to finding a group of people who know what that’s like.
With a much needed slower pace,
PS. I interviewed Neale Donald Walsch this week on the podcast. When you listen, it will feel like the whole world slowed down. Listen here.
Christina Rasmussen is the creator and founder of The Life Reentry Institute, Second Firsts, and Star Letters, and the host of the Dear Life Podcast. Christina is on a crusade to help millions of people rebuild, reclaim, and relaunch their lives using the power of their own minds. Christina’s work has been featured on ABC News, NPR, The White House Blog, and MariaShriver.com. She is the bestselling author of Second Firsts: Live, Laugh, and Love Again, which has also been translated in Chinese and German and just released her second book Where Did You Go on expanding the mind in ways that allows co-creation with the forces of the universe. She is also writing her first work of fiction: a science fiction story about a woman on a quest to start over and begin a new life. You can find more information on her website and follow her on FB or Twitter.
Image courtesy of Matteo Vistocco.