May 16, 2020
“I feel like I’m drowning.” I’ve heard these words from the mouths of three different people this week, all whom I would consider strong, positive beings. One of those mouths was my own.
Getting hit with wave after wave of tough news and the frustration of no clear answers has been hard to take for some of us. What can you do if you feel that YOU are supposed to be the life raft of the family, of your work team, or of your friend group? You get brave. I’m not talking about the kind of brave where you swallow your tears and pretend all is a-okay. I’m talking about the kind of bravery where you raise your hand and say difficult words out loud. “I feel like I’m drowning. I’m having a tough time.” You will not believe what will come out of it. It feels awkward at first if you consider yourself strong. It feels like you’re begging for someone to save you . Here’s the thing: This courage welcomes others to be brave with their words too. It’s a beautiful cycle. When you feel strong in the coming days or months, your people will then feel comfortable coming to you and saying those bold words. Next time, you’ll be the hand that pulls them up. This is how we will stay strong together.
If you are in a family unit right now or responsible for the well being of children, this may seem to go against the wise words of “Be the Calm in the Chaos” . Of course these words are necessary. Our children do not need to see all the news and the panic in our world or even in our own minds. However, if we are having a bad day, they could feel it. They can see it. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to say to them, “I’m having a tough time today. How are you doing?”. Open up this conversation. If you can show them your imperfect self, they may feel free to be honest with their emotions as well.
This week a wise friend reminded me, “You don’t have to carry this alone.” Truth. This is true with the people in your home and true with the people in your community. To hear the words, “You Are Not Alone”, in the media, written on store fronts, and chalked lovingly on sidewalks is a great thing. To actually feel those words is therapeutic.
If you can’t find your surface today, raise your hand up to someone else. Let someone pull you up so that they know they can do the same when they need it. If you are feeling strong today, be that person to lend a hand. Encourage this bravery in your children, your family and your friends. Ask them if there’s anything weighing on them. It’s ok to not be ok. Brighter days are ahead and more mentally strong days are in our future as well.
If you do not feel safe or comfortable reaching out for help or feeling lost and out of control, please call one of these hotlines as soon as possible. https://charitybomb.org/helplines/
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Wishing you strength and peace,
Melissa, Charity Bomb GenZEQ contributor