I used to think that certain triggers bring out the worst in some people. The truth is people show their true colors over time. Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love, peace keepers gonna keep the peace. When I see some of the horrible comments people make and the all too willing judgements they are willing to pass, it’s hard to deny that there is an ugliness that exists in these difficult times. People are obsessed with complaining and demeaning and feel its their personal responsibility to be everyone’s judge and jury. Instead of getting angry, I do my best to use this realization to be a better person. We have to stop this negativity toward one another and find a way to rise above our own smallness and grow people tall. We are not in this world to make others look small and we certainly don’t appear any bigger cutting someone else down to size. As we go through this day, pay attention to how many times your thoughts lead to judgement. Count how many times you silently wish someone well. You may just be surprised at the quality and quantity of each thought. Awareness is the key to making significant change, so today just be aware.
My lifeless form stood there tired and deflated. I had reached rock bottom and my heart was hurting as I replayed the day’s events over in my mind. I just couldn’t shake the ache. My physical body was present but the shell of emptiness inside of me had a presence that filled the entire arena. My husband surprised me with Florida Georgia Line tickets and I stood on that floor looking at the people around me. They were drinking beer and smiling and I was silently dying. I wanted the floor to swallow me up so I could disappear and find some comfort in sleep.
Depression is a difficult thing. One minute you are fine and the next you are drowning underneath the stress life throws your way. It’s not just something you shake off like a bad mood or a bad day. It swallows you up, consumes you until you are frozen in time desperate for a way out but no energy to make your escape. I share these things because if I suffer in silence, I know others do too. I am blessed to have someone in my life who is patient with me. It isn’t easy for anyone.
It took a while but slowly I felt a smile creep across my face. The breakthrough in that moment was palpable. I could feel the bass shake something inside of me. I could feel something again and I was grateful. Sometimes all it takes is a reminder that there is life inside the shell and the emptiness is only an illusion. These moments don’t always come but when they do you embrace each second, soak up the relief and move on.
Be kind to others around you. You have no idea the demons they face or their struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes we need to feel peace and love and the constant fighting and aggression in the world takes a heavy toll. Sometimes all this meanness makes us want to retreat and disappear to someplace safe. Sometimes we need a happy place but depression makes that place impossible to find. Reach out to someone who looks like they are hurting. Have a conversation, invite someone for coffee. Make someone feel important. These little things go a long way. Be the difference someone needs today.
Friday is like a much needed exhale after holding my breath most of the week. It is a reminder that we need to find a way to let the weight of the world go and reunite with our sense of peace. Life is so serious that sometimes we almost forget to nurture our playful side. Remember those days when you couldn’t wait to throw your backpack down and run outside and play? We all need play to survive the serious demands that tug at us from every angle. We need to excuse ourselves from the many roles we play on a daily basis and remember who we really are underneath the various facades. Here’s hoping you find peace in your own exhale today and that you reconnect with the little version of you who just wants to go outside and play.
“When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the enviroment in which it grows, not the flower”
– Alexander Den Heijer
I had one of those dreaded meetings today. Just like many other times, the short time revolved around the teacher defending her teaching techniques rather than how we could work together to come up with a plan to help Chase be more successful in the classroom. I don’t know how to tell teachers that none of this is about them personally. Every year, another teacher is replaced by a new face. What I do find disturbing is their unwillingness to budge from their ways. As a parent of a kid who struggles more than most would understand, I have had to admit to myself that he just does not learn like other students. Teachers make assumptions about him based on other children and I really think it’s unfair. One obvious example is this teacher told me when she tells the students to brainstorm what the answer might be or why an experiment might turn out one way or another, he just sits there and writes nothing. Instead of asking why, she jumped to her most obvious conclusion. When I explained that Chase does the brainstorming in his head and a few minutes does not allow him to get his thoughts from his brain through his pencil and onto his paper, I think she finally understood. He is often misjudged in the classroom and so many things could be cleared up if the teacher simply asked. I get they have a lot of students but he is just as worthy of learning as every other kid sitting at a desk in a class. It’s not his fault and I wish teachers understood the amount of sacrifice, anxiety and extra hours these kids put in just to keep their heads above the water. It makes me sad that it’s the same conversation every single time. My heart breaks every night before I go to sleep wondering what ball will fall on top of him the following day. It’s always something and the anxiety it causes all of us is excruciating beyond belief. Shout out to parents who know this struggle. My love and support go out to you because I know the toll this takes on you too. Sometimes I wish I could do a reality show on this subject. One that might actually change what is going on in our public schools and give these kids the break they need to survive a school system who will never meet their needs.
I went to another concert last night. I was left with this image of the entire arena filled with individual lights. It was a beautiful sight. Sometimes I don’t see the light in others because I don’t want to look hard enough but last night all I saw was light. What an amazing feeling. One that left me full of hope. What was your glimmer of hope today?
It’s really a test for me when the first thing that shows up in the morning is confrontation and bad energy. I’ve come to that place in life where I have no interest in that anymore. There are very few people worth salvaging my inner peace for and I’ve been removing the ones I can a little more each day. It’s not that I can’t be friends with people who feel different than I do, I am simply not in the game of proving who is better, smarter or has more value. To have to spend comment after comment, tit for tat over complete nonsense is not how I want to spend my time and energy. If we disagree, we disagree. Game over. Move on. So what. Big deal. Friends accept a difference in opinion and they know when their friendship is worth more and they simply move on. Why the constant bickering? Are we more obsessed with being right than we are with being kind? I’m afraid so.
I saw this meme a few weeks ago and was reminded of it last night. I was trying to sleep but I could feel that old, familiar anxiety that shakes me just enough to keep me awake at night. The storm was brewing outside and the crack of thunder nearly made me jump out of my skin. I didn’t realize how on edge I was until I noticed the storm inside of me was much larger than the one going on outside my window. Sometimes anxiety strikes at the oddest moments. I had been a difficult week with me being a continuous advocate for my son at school. My daughter had her last and most important swim meet of her senior year and I was trying to remain calm underneath the palpable chaos. The stronger and louder the noise became outside, the more I felt at ease. I had no idea the storm inside of me was so great until I could compare it with the one blowing hail up against my window. Calm down Kim, I thought to myself. Feeling anxious cannot become your new norm. I took a few deep breaths and let the sound of the rain falling on the house slowly put me at peace. It’s so important to check in with yourself from time to time and put down what isn’t yours to carry. When you become accustomed to carrying more than your share, you forget the relief you feel when your hands are finally free. That was my last thought before I finally drifted off to sleep.
Sometimes I forget what it’s like to feel happy in a room filled with smiling people. With so much conflict and protesting recently, a night out at an awesome concert felt really good. As I looked around at the genuine joy on people’s faces, my eyes filled up with tears. This is the way it’s supposed to be I thought to myself as I wiped away a tear with the cuff of my sleeve. I thanked God for that moment and that I was mindful enough to experience and enjoy it. Sometimes I forget that we make life so much harder than it needs to be. We complicate the very relationships that are meant to be beautiful by destroying them with our ugliness. Sometimes I forget what peace feels like but last night I felt it. I remembered and I am grateful.
Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect~Margaret Mitchell
In a world where people cannot seem to accept the reality of anything these days, I found this quote to be quite fitting.