I’ve noticed lately that we’ve been taught that it’s not okay to not be okay. We’ve been taught to push and hustle and show no pain. We’ve been taught to hide the hurt with concealer and blush and a big red smile. But what happens when the world is breaking open and the earth is on fire? What happens when grief and loss is seeping through our veins? What happens when we can no longer hide the hurt with red lips and pink cheeks? What happens then?
I’ve noticed cheerleaders and influencers yelling into my computer pleading with me to get up off the floor and be my best self right now. Now is the time, they say. Hustle and push yourself to be the most successful person you can be. Ignore the dark days of winter. Ignore the pandemic. You’ve got this, they say.
But the world is hurting and bruised and broken. Our faces are tired and weathered and used. It hurts to smile, and I lost my lipstick early last year. My hair has gone natural, my skin is bare.
So, what now? What do we do?
What I’ve noticed is that there is relief when we honor what’s true. There is relief when we lay down in the dark and let the grief be our blanket, even if just for a night. When we feel the pain, when we sit with it, without trying to hide it or fix it or fade it away, something happens…
I’ve noticed a paradox lately. One of grief and hope. I’ve noticed that when we sit with our grief and look straight at our pain, the sorrow starts to loosen a little bit. When we talk about what’s happening in our lives and have the courage to invite others in, when we swap stories and share our heartaches, we see we are not alone. And in that simple connection, where your words become mine, and our stories wrap their arms around each other, the tragedies become hope. Tragedies, when they move us and touch our deepest core, alchemize into wisdom.
Transformation happens when we go all the way in—when we are not afraid of the moment.
What I’ve noticed is that hope can be born of grief. If only we allow it.
P.S. As part of my work right now I am offering something I am calling The Sunday Service for Women. It’s a time where we can gather together from anywhere, honor what is true, and find hope through each other. It’s a gift from me to you, a space to honor the moment.