Life is full of opposites: joy and sadness, fatigue and strength, hope and disappointment, frustration and encouragement, anger and calm. The list goes on. It’s rare that one state of being defines our day. And yet, we are consistently asked to define “how we are” with one or two descriptive words.
Five weeks into our journey, the most common phrases we hear are, “How is Ruthie? What do you need? How are you?” It’s how people check-in to show care and concern, but answering those questions is hard.
Sure, I could simply say, “We are great!” It makes everyone else feel better. And it’s true, we are surrounded by greatness, but that expression doesn’t seem to honor the fullness of our experiences.
So I try, “We are okay.” But then I get stuck. Fear and anxiousness seep in, and I find myself feeling worn out. I miss the simple pieces of goodness that are a part of each day. A weight settles in and life feels heavy.
The truth is, we are all over the place. We laugh and cry. We feel sadness and hope. We get frustrated and look to patience. We are strong and really want a nap. We struggle and feel lifted. We experience great peace and think, “This is really hard.”
I have been surprised at how difficult the past 5 weeks have been for me personally. It’s a lot to process and we’ve never done this before. When fear steps in, I tend to disconnect so it’s been hard to relax and fully embrace the good moments. I’ve been afraid to move forward too quickly wondering if there will be a setback. I feel frustrated that I can’t do and be more. I tell myself,
“Life is not a series of pass/fail moments. I don’t have to do this perfectly!”
Then, I forget! And yet, even with all of the things that don’t happen and all the mistakes I make, there is evidence of great connection and beauty. I have to remember that feeling sad, frustrated, tired, and shedding a lot of tears is not bad. It doesn’t mean that I am weak. It is a part of my experience. It’s not the entirety of who I am, but a piece of what I feel. When I allow myself to feel, it is actually evidence of my beauty, strength, and greatness.
So how are we?
Each day is different. We are living imperfectly, feeling grateful, learning a lot, and taking things one moment at a time. Today as I flipped through some pictures from the last 5 weeks, I was shocked. We are much stronger than I remember when it’s late at night and I’m exhausted. Good surrounds us as we continue healing.
We are learning to trust. We are moving forward.
And, how are you? I know each of us is doing hard in our own way. Are you being kind to yourself as you travel through whatever life throws your direction? Will you embrace the moments that reveal great imperfection? Together can we shift our thinking and remember that many paradoxical pieces make up who we are, and who we are is enough.