Come here. I’m going to tell you a secret.
It’s okay to hate today.
To hell with all that positive thinking mumbo jumbo. Toss your gratitude journal to the side, just for now.
It’s okay to wallow.
It’s okay to feel like PMS and Mercury Retrograde and your hour and a half commute and your tantruming nine year old and the headache that won’t go away and the fight you just had with the one you love and the 28 dollars left in your bank account till payday and the dirty house and the way you can’t quite seem to make your purpose in this world a viable option are just too much.
Because guess what. It is too much. Way too much.
And yes. We both know people who have it much worse. Who lay awake at night worried about having a roof over their heads or doing battle with an illness that could take it all away. Who live in uncertainty and violence and everything that is the opposite of safe.
We know that this earth of ours bears witness to things that are beyond words. That people are sleeping in cold, hard streets and children are dying and people are hated for the color of their skin or what god they believe in or who they welcome into their bed at night.
And it sometimes seems there is never, ever enough compassion or action to change it all.
You see and feel all of that. All of that deep and painful reality. All that exists within and beyond you that is so, so much harder than any of this stuff that is getting you down.
And you feel minuscule and impossibly irrelevant in the face of it all.
It can be tempting to write off your own very real experience in comparison.
Because truly, most days your too much is really not all that much at all. Not in the face of homelessness and genocide and fatal car accidents and deep dark depression and sexual violence and all the rest of the deep ache of our wounded planet. In the face of civil inequality and brutality and racism and natural disaster and a nation divided.
It’s absolutely true. In the face of all that, your daily stresses and irritations are next to nothing.
Even your deepest heartache… totally survivable.
Perspective and compassion are infinitely important. You wouldn’t be who you are without these things. They live at the core of your strong and tender heart.
I know this. You know this.
Your empathic soul soaks in the aches of this world and spins them infinitely inside, so close you could touch and feel and name every individual slice of pain.
You feel and you feel and you feel. You couldn’t stop feeling if you tried.
You can take so much and keep standing back up. You can absorb and absorb and absorb and still have room to give.
Nobody is going to argue with that – not for a second.
But sometimes – you strong and tenderhearted soul – you’ve just got to sit down in the corner with your favorite cozy blanket and the saddest possible music and give yourself over to the ugly cry.
You’ve got to wallow and tantrum and feel hopeless and grumpy and disillusioned.
You’ve got to, because that’s what’s real in that moment. Because in that exact moment, there is nothing real but that.
Because that moment, right there. It sucks. It’s hard. Life is not going according to plan or wish or desire. Your heart, she is hurting. The stress and the worry are weighing you down, deep and dark and heavy. No way around it.
And you don’t need the pain Olympics or a complex a relativity equation for bravery or the my-struggle-sucks-worse-than-yours game to help you sort it out.
Because of course you know – even in the worst, there are always blessings. And when you play the comparison game, someone will always win and someone will always lose. We can use it to make ourselves feel better. Or we can use that to make ourselves feel worse.
Or – we just give ourselves permission to feel it all.
If you need permission. If you’ve been waiting for someone to say here, stop for a minute. This place that you’re in? It’s not easy. It hasn’t been easy for a while. And I see that your hurting and I see that you’re tired and damn, I know how the worry eats away at your gut. And I know that today, all you want to do is find a sliver of space and a moment of silence and some open arms.
Consider this your invitation.
Lay it all down love. Here. My arms are outstretched and waiting to hold it for you, just for a bit. I’ve got space for you here on the sofa next to me, and I’ve queued up my best heartbreak playlist. The candles are lit and my heart is open to hear your stories.
And you don’t need to worry about holding it in. Or worry that I’ll judge you. You don’t need to listen to that voice inside that tells you that you shouldn’t, that levels criticism for daring to complain when you’ve got nothing to complain about.
Tell that voice to hush. There’s a time and place for that.
But now is time for you. And if you need we’ll sit and cry together. Or I’ll just listen to you vent and whine and moan and complain – because darling, those are perfectly valid things to do sometimes. If it comes to that, we can wail and moan and roar together, eat ice cream and watch sappy movies and listen to sad songs until those much needed tears finally fall.
And not once do you need to fear judgment for just feeling what you’re feeling. Let the bad stuff suck for just a little while. Take a minute without searching for a positive spin. Stop trying to convince yourself that because others have it worse you don’t deserve to feel what you feel and say what you think and wish it could just really be all sunshine and roses and rainbows and unicorns.
Don’t we all at some point just wish it could all be sunshine and roses and rainbows and unicorns?
And when you’re done, when the weight has lifted a little – we’ll walk out into the sun together. And we’ll be grateful, and we’ll remember that it’s up to us to change what we are able to change and send the deepest love to all that we’re powerless to impact.
Because it’s hard to offer peace to the world around you when you’re doing battle with your own heart. And it’s hard to feel what you need to feel if you’ve labeled some feelings unworthy or unacceptable.
What we all need is to feel a little more okay with what is. Not just the pretty and blessed and grateful, but also the gritty and messy and raw.
Because love, you are here to feel. You’re here to love and mend and take action and make change.
You are here to heal.
Because in doing so, you free the space in yourself to offer the same to others.
Because in doing so, you send a wave of acceptance, inward and outward.
Because in doing so, you open your heart to the world.
And if there is one thing this world needs, it is more wide-open love. The sort of love I know lives inside your beating heart.
So go ahead. Let it suck, just for today. Let someone be there for you, not because your world is falling apart, but just because this moment – the one you’re in right now – is kinda tough. And it’s worn you out. And you’re tired.
Give your heart a rest. Let someone else pick up the slack for a bit.
And then, when you’re ready – go offer yourself again, a little bit lighter, a little bit more supported – and a whole lot more ready to take on the world.