May 25, 2022
Ahem (clearing my throat) … please don’t shoot the messenger. Let me explain.
After my mom first died in 2012, I found myself feeling angry about friends and family not showing up in ways I appreciated. Some called when they learned of her death. A few stayed in touch after her memorial service. But as time moved forward, the calls and check-ins diminished.
As my anger grew, the more I focused on my expectations of others … UNTIL I realized that no matter the support received from them, no one could grieve for me.
It was a tough wake-up call, to say the least.
As I stood at the bottom of life’s escalator, if you will, there was no doubt that I wanted family and friends to carry me. Push me. Drag me even, just to make it to the top. And I won’t lie. Some of them desperately attempted, in the form of annoying me about scheduling therapy appointments or meeting up for coffee or drinks.
The truth was, however, that none of their poking and prodding made a difference. It couldn’t at the time. I just wasn’t ready in the moments they attempted to push.
My ‘rock bottom’ moment occurred on a trip from LA to Washington, DC, where I was scheduled to participate in a grant review and deliver a keynote speech. The plane ride to DC was riddled with tears and emotional discomfort I’d never experienced before. And by the time I arrived at my hotel, I felt completely undone. I spent the majority of the night into the wee hours cradled on the floor, crying uncontrollably and calling out to God.
The ‘funny’ thing was that I tried calling a few close friends. Yet lo and behold, my desperate attempts were met with their voice mails. It was a harsh, yet apparent, realization that I had to help myself.
Yes, you can benefit from social support. In fact, I’d argue that you need it. Yes, others can push you in the right direction, offer a lending ear, and sit with you in the toughest of moments. There’s no denying any of this.
There’s also no denying that the grief journey is one that will largely be walked alone. In quiet moments. Away from the shield and protection of others around you.
Friend, you know what? As scary as this may feel right now, it’s in those quiet moments that you’ll be positioned to discover (or re-discover) yourself. Further, when you recognize that only you can take steps to help yourself, you’ll realize just how capable you are.
You’ll begin to walk in your power and vulnerability.
I love you and want to hear your thoughts. Please share them below.
Learn more about managing your lifestyle, love, leadership, and loyalties to God, self, and others by clicking here: https://mekelharrisphd.com/.