Remember the last time you ran into someone in the store you haven't seen in a while? The interaction might have gone something like this. 'Hey Bob! How have you been? How are June and the kids?". And the likely response goes something like "Things are good, good, and how about you?" " Just great, well nice chatting, enjoy the rest of your day!"
So what just happened there?
Maybe Bob doesn't really know this guy, and just wanted to be nice, or maybe Bob, knows it's just a greeting and really this person isn't interested in understanding really how things are going.
So here's the deal. I don't do that anymore. I just decided that it's not a genuine perspective and if someone is willing to ask then I'm giving them the real answer. As I feel it in the moment. And you know what I've learned? If you get past the surface niceties we all feel obligated to share, offering something real and true to what you feel, gives you more opportunity for a true connection.
Anyone interested in how I'm feeling these days? Honest truth? I'm feeling stressed, I'm feeling very alone in fulfilling two parental roles, and I am feeling very unsure. There you have it. On a daily basis I swing from one spectrum of 'I got this' to, I do not have this, in fact, I don't even want it.
I just had almost this very intro with someone last week, and you know what, it opened the door to a very genuine, heart felt conversation about how she was having some of these very same challenges. And how is it that we are all struggling alone, with all the roles and pressures we put on ourselves, and suffer in silence, because it's just what is expected, or worse yet, its what we expect of ourselves.
So, here's my advice. Dare to make a real connection with those around you, through being honest with your feelings. There's a reason this is the best advice, and it's not to dump problems on others, its because others can relate, others can offer advice or counsel, or just be a sympathetic ear, and that's the most helpful type of interaction. Knowing you are not alone. And through a combined effort it'll feel better, either because of a helpful suggestion, an inspiration or a release.
I believe that we receive guidance in many different ways. Lots of people get lots of good guidance through themselves but if you only rely on this, you are missing out. Some of the best suggestions I've had, come through others, when I'm willing to say, you know what I'm having a hard time trying to figure out. And you receive a suggestion you've never thought of before. And you won't get it unless you take the first step.
Know you are never alone with a struggle, help can be moments away if you are willing to dare to be honest with your feelings.
Thanks for reading.