Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Life is hard. For everyone. No one is immune to challenges.
Every single human being you will come in contact with today is fighting to find their peace and to push back fear; to get through their daily sh*t without breaking down in front of the Starbucks barista or in the carpool line or at the deli section of the grocery store.
The day my husband's dad died, we quickly packed up a toddler and a newborn and headed to the airport on our way to Michigan to be with our families to mourn, to cry, to celebrate. I remember a friend of mine coming over to help us get ready. As she stood in the doorway, she asked "Can I hug you? Or will that make it worse?".
Even though our friendship has been lost in different directions, to this day, I still remember her sweet question and find myself so grateful for her thoughtfulness...for her gentleness...her kindness.
When we finally made it to the airport, my husband was in such an emotional overload, and I really wanted to step in and make the travel as easy as I could for him. I wanted to protect him from any more pain. I remember the look on my sweet husband's face. Heartbroken and so painfully sad.
But traveling sucks. Especially with babies! We stood before two people at the airport who both were having bad days and apparently, they hadn't gotten the notice that we were on our way to a funeral; that we were grieving a wonderful man. I wanted to scream. "Be nice! Don't you know my husband just lost his father? This is insane...just get us on the plane, give us our seats, and get us to safety...and for goodness sakes, sweet babies, PLEASE be good!".
But, how could they know? How could those airline employees know that we were in a raw emotional state? They couldn't. And vice versa. I'll never know what was driving them to be so uncaring; so nonchalant; so cold, but the experience made me really aware of other people's feelings.
We all have so much going on in our own noggins. Sometimes, I imagine that we are all living life with those giant word clouds above our heads...like in comic strips. We each have our own word bubble. Everyone of us. Thoughts, thoughts, millions of thoughts, fears, ideas, expressions, feelings! Everyone, EVERYONE is fighting things. We are all just trying to survive...even if we look like we are smiling on the outside...there is so much happening inside.
Today, I challenge you:
Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with others. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.