There’s sadness and loss in my life that’s a challenge to come to terms with every day.
Perhaps my biggest challenge yet.
Life doesn’t wait for hearts to heal. Everyday is a series of movements, obligations, conversations with the hope of developing plans and projects in the pursuit of happiness.
I’ve become well trained in the art of drying my eyes and walking into a meeting, of posting pictures of me smiling on instagram when the truth is, I feel sad, and of picking up the phone and producing the goods when it feels like I have nothing to say.
There are many reasons why I do this. Firstly, I know my feelings will pass and I want to keep moving and looking forward.
Secondly, whatever I’m going through is a private matter and I deal with it behind closed doors, as do the rest of us.
But it’s more than that. It can be a challenge to find people who have the time and space to sit, listen and let be without judgement.
It’s got me thinking about how we deal with emotion, sadness and loss in our lives and the lives of others.
A recent Ted Talk conference on the topic “DREAM” featured Dan Pallotta saying, “We can imagine driverless cars but we can’t imagine crying with one another.” He followed with, “We are too busy building our dreams and saving the world, we cut right through the humanity of one another.”
We are living in a world obsessed with productivity, being busy and ticking things off To-Do lists. We are the culture cracking down on anything that takes too long, always on the hunt for a way to hack our lives.
Yet, the one thing we can’t hack is being present with one another. To find that love and support both within ourselves, and within our friends and family, to heal. And we’re all healing from something.
The world is inundated with articles, books, youtube videos and quotes to help us achieve our dreams, but what of our broken dreams? How do we heal from these?
It’s uncomfortable to talk about the hard stuff, so we often shy away from it, try to smooth it over or problem solve. Yet sometimes we are not looking for suggestions of how to solve our heartache, but a friend who creates a place where that pain is understood and supported. That’s all.
Sometimes I don’t feel there’s space in the world for me to say, “Hold on, I’m not ok and I need some time to figure this out.” Or if I do say it, I feel exposed and judged, leaving me feeling worse.
I wonder if I’m not the only one.
If you know someone healing from their broken dreams, know that the best thing you can do is just be there and listen. It will all be alright in the end, deep down we all know that. But when you are going through stuff that occupies your head and your heart, that practical rationale seems a million miles away from what will help to take the next step forward.