November 30th: Bound
First of all, I missed another day…I didn’t forget, I was just busy with my family. Sometimes we must prioritize.
Today, I am coping with the silence of this house after everyone has gone on their way. For someone like me, who generally enjoys being alone, I find myself a little bit out of sorts. There is nothing quite like knocking around in an empty house after everyone you love has left.
To remedy my loneliness, I called some people I love in hopes of cheering myself up. Instead, I found myself leaving each phone call more worried and sadder than I already was. These are people who are close, very close, to my heart. Both of them are making decisions that I don’t understand, and I know, I just KNOW, that if the situations were reversed, they would be equally as concerned and worried about me.
I hung up the phone and sat in my dark, empty house…unsure what more I could do. There is no one I can call to share these things with, there is no way to help. So, what do I do?
Here’s the thing: Life is hard sometimes. No matter how old we are or what we think we know, there are yet more lessons to be learned. I have often thought that it is more painful to witness someone we love going through a tough time than it is to be going through it ourselves. At least when you are in it, you can do something. When you are a bystander, all you can do is sit helplessly by and watch and wish you could think of the right words to get through to the people you love.
We are, all of us, bound by love to others in this world. It is what gives life to our lives- even someone like me, closed off as I can be, knows that. Sometimes that means sharing in the good things, and sometimes that means…just standing by, ready to be there when you are needed. It means checking in, reminding people of how much they are loved, and how much they matter. Sometimes it means telling hard truths, saying the words “You don’t sound like you’re okay, and I think I know what’s going on.” Sometimes it means rocking the boat a little bit. Sometimes love asks us to be a little more brave and speak up a little louder…even if it makes people defensive or angry. When you love someone, you need to recognize what is needed, and show up.
Today, if there is someone you love who is struggling, I hope you can see it for what it is. Rather than wonder, pick up the phone and let them know you are here. That you see them. That you love them. That even if they can’t talk right now, you’re gonna call again tomorrow, and the day after that, until they can. Life is hard, sometimes. Don’t let your loved ones think they are alone. And if you are hurting…open up when someone reaches out. Even if you’re ashamed or scared. Let someone in. We need each other so much more than we think.