I sat across from you today. You are struggling, you are tired.
As looked into her eyes I recognized the exhaustion and the fear. I recognized the question, the one that asks am I going to be okay? I remembered a dark season in my life. I remembered when I was so undone with anxiety that I couldn’t take the kids to the beach or even make it out of the house.
I remembered when I had no hope.
I remembered a friend who showed up every single day on my doorstep. She’d ask, “What are you afraid of today?” I’d tell her and she’d listen. She’d really listen…that was the gift. When I’d run all out of words I would sit shaking on my porch trying to feel the sun that beat down all around me, but never touched my skin.
Then she would say, “You are okay, your kids are okay. This is just fear and anxiety,” and I would cry until all the tears were gone.
And the next day she’d be back, because I’d already forgotten the truth.
Sometimes we need truth holders in our lives because our grip is not strong enough.
Sometimes we need to stand with each other until the sun comes up.
Right now, you are low. Right now you feel like a fragmented version of yourself. It’s okay to fall apart. When you are low, others are high. When you are broken, others are okay.
We have all been undone. We have all been undone, and then we get put back together piece by piece, and when we find someone else who is suffering we understand deeper and wider. We can hold space for them because we get it.
So friend, I take your hand, like she took mine, because we will walk through this together. There have been so many times in the past I’ve watched friends suffer from a distance because I wasn’t sure what to say, and I was afraid of making it worse. I made their pain about me, and I still cringe when I think about it. I wish that I’d showed up. I wish I’d been brave.
I’m done letting my fear keep me from staying close.
I will not do it perfectly; in fact, sometimes I might do it awkwardly and terribly. I will probably say the wrong thing. I will probably make you mad.
I’m okay with that now.
I will listen to you until you’re all out of words. I will listen, and I will listen, and then I will take your hand because you are not alone.