I got sad this week. Like, really sad. But trust me, this wasn’t the first time and it surely won’t be the last. As I’m sliding out from under that cloud of heartache today, I am feeling accomplished and grateful for the way I handled it this time. Don’t get me wrong, though. I sobbed and decided for a moment to never let anyone or anything else ever get close enough to hurt me again. I even had a little prayer time with a God I didn’t think was listening from the bathroom floor. I put Preparation H on my eyes like I read I should in a magazine so I could see out from under the awful puffiness my tears had made.
Here’s what I didn’t do. I didn’t hide. I didn’t close myself off from everyone who loves me and wants to help me like I use to do. I didn’t pretend I was okay and wasn’t hurt. When a friend and my sister offered to come over, I let them. I called someone and asked them to pray over me on the phone. I talked to an old friend who knew my whole story and where I come from so I could just cry and not offer any explanations. I found subs to teach a few classes instead of going in and pretending to be the always happy yoga teacher. I texted the people that I know love me and told them I was bummed. I got in to see my therapist so she could give me an “am I crazy?” assessment, and thankfully the answer was “No!”.
I got quiet. I listened. And I heard God talk to me in the voice of a man I loved and lost. He told me he wanted to share his mom with me for the day so I should go see her and let her love on me for a little while. And, of course, I did.
I drove home last night from my mommy-for-the-day’s house in the pouring rain feeling loved and hopeful, listening to songs with sad lyrics and knowing that the people who wrote them probably feel better now.
My mantra use to be “I’m always okay”. It was my answer to anyone who asked. I can remember as far back as walking into my kindergarten class feeling like I had better act like everything’s okay here. Hold back your tears. Don’t let others see your pain. It gave me a twisted sense of pride to be so good at hiding. So reaching out and admitting sadness are not easy for me. Many of us are wounded and it makes us want to help everyone else without letting them do the same for us.
Because I feel sorrow about life doesn’t make me a gloomy person. And because I’m friendly and wear a smile on my face doesn’t make me a happy person, either. I am a human person with a brain that defaults me to fear and despair sometimes and I react. As I learn to let people see all of me, I also learn to feel loveable in all my grossness. Rain comes in the form of joy and sadness and I want to be courageous enough to get soaking wet by both.