Sometimes, we don’t realize we are fragile until someone takes the time to truly see us. Over the weekend, I enjoyed time on the beach with two beautiful friends. We laughed until we cried. We stayed up late. We got up early. We walked the beach and collected shells. We camped on the beach until dark. We lived and loved big. We said how we were feeling in all moments. When we were happy, we said it out loud. When we were excited, we set it out loud. When we were spiraling through worries or irrational thoughts, we said it out loud. And in each of those moments, we were there for each other. It was safe. We felt safe and held in our vulnerability. We also said it outloud when we were seeing something good each other.
And it was in those moments, I realized how I’ve actually been doing. Have you ever been pushing hard through day-to-day life and then had someone compliment you and it made you want to cry? It’s a weird feeling. One that makes me feel a little crazy. But what I think it comes down to disconnection. Disconnection from self which leads to disconnection from others.
We get so busy doing all the things. Going to work, taking care of our home, trying to achieve personal goals, that suddenly life is about doing and not about living. And we can go on like for this weeks, months, even years until we have a moment when we are truly seen by another individual, and we have the capacity to take a breath and feel in that moment. It’s not that other people haven’t seen us. Haven’t tried to connect with us. It’s that the moment was right for us to shake ourselves out of the doing and into the living and feeling.
In that moment, on the beach at sunset, a kind word was spoken, and it made me want to cry. As odd and as basic as it sounds, it was like being reminded that I’m a person, and I have something good to offer. Seeing me get emotional, made my friends become emotional. They didn’t hear me say that I needed to hear more, but they told me more of the good they see in me.
And I was overwhelmed with gratitude to have these kinds of people in my inner circle.
As we boarded the plane home, I started to get anxiety about the flight. This is common for me. I start to worry about whether the plane will crash. I start to worry whether this is the end. I sit in silent suffering and fall down rabbit holes if I let myself. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.
The brain goes to what it experiences frequently. So, as I worried about the plane, I started to worry about all of kinds of other things that were also out of my control. People who might be thinking negative thoughts about me. People who might be making more progress in achieving their goals than me.
And in that moment, it hit me. If this flight were to go down, would all of those things I can’t control matter in my final moments?
Nope. And in a weird way, that’s how I found peace.
As much as I love the feeling of being accomplished and getting better, and as much as I intend to continue make the greatest impact I can in my little corner of the world, none of that should become a higher priority than my inner peace.
Perhaps we can achieve great things at a higher level with more finesse, when we prioritize our inner groundedness.
What is a micro-behavior you could change and monitor to give yourself more space to breath and simply be?
What is something that you could change with minimal effort that would make your life even a little better?
This is the work.