I had dinner with a friend last night, one that I rarely get to see, but who goes way back. She shared that recently she’d wanted to pull out every hair on her head (one by one), make a nest out of them, crawl into said nest and die. This was the way she felt after losing her shit on her kids. She described her violent spewing of f-bombs and desire to murder after witnessing one of her children repeatedly hit the other with a gaming controller. She painted the picture so very clearly. I was grateful for and felt reassured by her honesty and vulnerability. Witnessing child against child violence and responding with violence and rage is all too familiar for me. It is one of my biggest nemeses. It is the very thing that brought me to a mindfulness practice, and when I slip up, it is the very thing that makes me believe momentarily that I should quit, because can a person really teach while in the throes of learning?
Viewing my friend as the inspiration and leader that she is, I know the answer is yes.
This friend consciously sets intentions to align herself with wisdom, compassion and open, honest communication. This is why doing the exact opposite (losing herself to big, sticky emotions) was so SCARY! But what my friend did, (and what I know makes me feel better too- perhaps it’s the left over Catholicism?) is share her story:
She got scared.
She freaked out.
She felt like shit.
She returned to the scene and apologized.
She talked about what happened.
All this = heroine, in my book.
Thank you to friends like this, friends who can share their screw-ups and make-ups and let me know I’m not alone. Thank you to friends who are vibrant and caring community figures, who also share their humanness and all the baggage that comes with it. Thank you to friends who let me in their mess, creating trust and solidarity. Thank you for allowing me a safe space to share my funk too. Thank you for letting me witness your growth and inspiring my own. Thank you for showing me how to forgive.
I am impressed by your family. I am impressed by your home and your friends. I am impressed by your job and your leadership roles and your flawless skin and your style.
But friend, I am changed by your honesty and vulnerability.
I am encouraged. I am supported. I am connected.
In you, I see me.
I hope you feel the same way.
I love you, friend.