Perfection… something everyone strives for, society tries to tell us it’s something we need. We have to buy into false perfection to ever achieve anything in life and to be truly someone… That is the message at least that I always feel is being presented to me. I am presented with this glowing picture of a perfect life, perfect people, always happy, always doing well… never any sign of weakness. I used to feel bad for feeling different, for having emotions other than happiness. For struggling and having an off day every now and then. I always felt I had to fix those “bad” emotions quickly, and when I saw other’s struggling to try and “fix” them as well. We have to quickly patch over our true feelings so as not to make those around us feel uncomfortable by our so-called weakness. Honestly a lot of people do get uncomfortable when people share their true emotions. Often enough when people ask if you are okay they are just asking out of common courtesy and aren’t ready for the consequences if you are not okay. They aren’t prepared to be there if you answer you aren’t okay. They don’t have a plan or even a back up plan ready to combat or try to “fix” the problem in front of them. That is where we have to change our mindset. We shouldn’t fix people, no…. we shouldn’t go into the cover up the weakness mode and try to bring back the false perfection and security just to make the situation less uncomfortable. No we need to just be there, simply be there for others. Listen patiently, openly, unbiased and lovingly. We need to just be real and there for those around us.
I recently ran into a situation with my dad that really made me think about how we have to just be there and be prepared for how other’s are truly feeling. I am always so impressed with how real my dad is… he is not afraid to say things that cross his mind, and share how he is feeling. A lady approached us one afternoon, she was a family friend, and she asked my dad how he was doing. I could already tell she was automatically expecting him to say he was okay and ask her back. Instead my dad answered, “honestly I’m not doing to well, but I’m trying to stay positive.” The lady instantly panicked and then froze…. She didn’t know how to respond because she wasn’t ready for my dad to share his real feelings. If we are in situations like that when people honestly respond with how their feeling we then need to just be there. We need to be empathetic and let them know we will support and love them through whatever. If they ask for suggestions give them, but don’t try to belittle how their feeling and “fix” them so as to rebuild this false perfection that you thought was there before.
Through all this James Charles drama that has been going on I found one amazing line that Tati said and I really want to share it here because I feel it relates completely. She said something to the extent of, “don’t ever let anyone belittle your pain. We all can feel our pain and learn from and through it, and then we let it go at our own time.” Don’t let anyone tell you the pain you are feeling is nothing or you need to shape up and act like it’s nothing. No you are allowed to feel your pain. I am also giving you permission now if you need it to feel it, to embrace it, and then move on at your own time. We are all only human and should feel things. We should be able to have our moments, take the time we need and then move on when we feel we are ready. Not when someone decides they’re going to fix us up, or tell us to suck it up and move on. No those are not their emotions; those are your emotions, your feelings, and your realness, all you!
Emotions can scare people and honestly maybe some people need a little waking up or scaring. Maybe some people need that wake up call of, “oh wait that person is struggling? They’re human, it’s okay they are feeling that, I’ll just be here to support and love them and not make fun or belittle them.” I had a moment a while back where I was having a hard day and the person I was with did something that just broke that final straw on the camel’s back. I started crying just because I was overwhelmed, tired, stressed… you name the emotions, they were there! Instead of offering to just be there though the person backed up like I had the plague and then proceeded to try and use humor to belittle the situation, and I ended up doing so much cover work and apologizing for making THEM feel uncomfortable for my realness. NOT OKAY! I wish I could go back to that moment and look the person in the face and say, “I’m having an off day, it’s okay for me to show this and I am not going to apologize for making you feel uncomfortable. I’m human and I don’t always have to be fine.”
Long story short…. Don’t try to fix situations or belittle feelings. Instead be there… be a comforting shoulder, an ear to listen, an empathetic person always open and caring. We know when the tables are turned we appreciate it so much when people are there and validate our realness. They don’t belittle our pain, but instead just love on us and support us through thick and thin. Love on people. Make them feel special. Make them feel they truly mean something and their feelings are valid. ALL their feelings and emotions, good and sad, tears or smiles. We grow through what we go through and should never feel like showing our true feelings holds us back. Instead those emotions are what mold us and shape us into the people we are today. We are always evolving, always growing, and discovering new things about ourselves. We learn these things through the good and bad experiences. The ups and the downs. We need both the sunshine AND the rain to grow. Your pain is proof that you are human and alive. Xoxo
Photo by Peter Garry