This week, in two separate back-to-back incidences, I had the honor to hold space for women who were dealing with overwhelming personal challenges. One who had numerous serious issues and limited financial ability to address them; the other who, along with her husband had been laid off months ago, had deflated self-esteem and major relationship stress and strain. They each carried heavy burdens, heavy hearts. A few moments after greeting these women, they were sobbing uncontrollably and apologizing to me for it. Why is it that we feel we must be strong all the time? Why can’t we just admit that sometimes life deals us more than we can bear at the moment? It doesn’t make us weak, it makes us human.
Honoring the space they were in, giving them permission to be human, without judgement, showing compassion is all that I could do besides handing them tissues. And when they were ready to hear it, I encouraged them to make a gratitude list. To write out absolutely everything they have to be grateful for and then read it twice daily. More if necessary. And add to it as things come up. You see, they were so mired in the negative, they couldn’t see the positive. It happens to the best of us, and sometimes it takes a word from a perfect stranger to reset our perspective. Such was the case with these ladies.
When life gives you lemons, how are you coping? Are you wallowing in self-pity and negativity? Or are you squeezing those lemons and making some sweet lemonade? It’s ok, even important, to acknowledge feelings of disappointment, frustration or despair but then you must get some perspective. It’s a glitch, a minor (or major!) setback but you can get back on track. Remember what you’ve got to be thankful for!
PS – Later that day, I found out one of the women received a referral for a free MRI to assess her injury. The power of positive thought!