Happy New Year! On Sunday I was out of town at a retreat so I didn’t blog, but when I was there I experienced a nuance of one of my favorite quotes: “You are never alone or helpless, the force that guides the stars guides you too.” (In fact, it was even made into a song!) I have definitely felt that way – that an invisible force permeated me and my life – but this week I experienced it on a different level.
While in Austin, Texas I shared how I was feeling with some friends of mine and it turns out they were feeling the exact same way! It’s so nice to tell someone you’re heartbroken, or sad, or happy, or scared, or tired, or whatever, and have them say they feel the same way. It makes me feel less alone and crazy. I feel more connected to those around me and less isolated when I know someone else is going through the same thing. There’s a fantastic quote that I can’t find for the life of me that goes something like, “A friend is someone who says, ‘I know, I’ve been there.’” It’s so true! Sometimes I get really in my head and want to pull away from those around me because they can’t possibly be feeling what I’m feeling! They look so together! But it turns out those around me can and do feel similar to me. It’s in that sharing that space within me opens up and I feel less alone. I feel connected.
This is not the most profound post, but in essence, sharing with others reminds me I’m not experiencing life in a vacuum. That other people have problems, other people have feelings, other people don’t have all the answers either. It reminds me I’m human and that we’re all trying to buoy each other. That we’re supporting one another while working through our “stuff.” It reminds me I don’t have to be “perfect” before I can help others because instead it’s my imperfection that bonds me to others. It reminds me I’m not supposed to weather storms all on my own. And sharing how I feel also lessens my emotional load. Expressing it to someone else who is undergoing the same thing makes it seem less weighty. It’s the concept behind “misery loves company.” In my experience misery is not the only emotion that loves company, they all do.
Mostly, as I re-enter real life after coming back from vacation, I’m reminded I’m not alone. Not only because the force that guides the stars guides me too, but also because those around me are going through similar experiences. And being able to share it is a beautiful thing.
I dream of a world where we express how we’re feeling. A world where we know other people can and do understand us. A world where we open up to others because we realize we’re not alone in our experiences and nor should we be. A world where we understand we are never alone or helpless.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.