I’m really good at numbing my pain. In my world, everything is fine, everything is fine, everything is always fine because I’m determined that IT WILL BE FINE.
Of course, it’s not always fine.
It has been over three weeks with our families hunkered down inside of our homes.
We have cooked 1000 meals in a row.
We have played games with our families, laughter billowing out of windows.
We have searched for creative zoom backgrounds to hide the chaos behind us.
We have woken children for online classes when all we want to do is sleep.
We have created obstacle courses in our backyards and treasure hunts in our neighborhoods for restless littles.
We have rushed to work, whether in our homes or on the front lines, determined to care for those who rely on us.
We have nurtured our relationships by zooming with friends and family and discovered that, although seeing their faces is amazing, online community is hard.
We have deflected our pain with memes and humor desperate to keep ourselves afloat with laughter.
We are afraid to let the pain in because there is currently no end in sight. What if we cannot contain the pain once it’s free? What if we let ourselves feel and it hurts so fiercely that we fall apart?
Then what if we realize that it’s not all that bad? That we can feel our own pain and still be here for others? That feeling our own pain means we understand better what others are going through?
What if falling apart allows us to rise up stronger, better, and more than fine? Hopeful, even.
Now is scary because we don’t know how this will end.
What we do know is that people are hurting, including ourselves, and we all need help.
People who feel are people who help, so now is the time to let yourself feel. Sit in silence with all that is overtaking you and welcome it in. Ask God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit or Mary or your favorite Saint or your dog to sit by your side so you are not alone. We should never have to be alone in our pain.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to yourself and let your heart break wide open. Be kind to yourself so that you can be kind to your people and to all of the people. We are truly in this together but some people are running on empty right now. Pay attention, find those people in your lives and in your greater communities and remind them that you care. We should never have to be alone in our pain. We belong to each other. Always.