I remember the day when I learned that Caleb had committed suicide. It took me by surprise because he always seemed happy and filled with life. It was the same assumption I had about Robin Williams. I struggled to understand.
We honestly don’t know the inner battle that others are facing. And we often don’t take the time to go deep with others. Mostly because we don’t know how to go deep with ourselves. We are afraid of what we might discover. We don’t know how to feel the emotions that bubble to the surface when they do. It’s a skill to hold space for another without judgement or without changing them.
As someone who has been studying and engaging with emotions for over 8 years now there are times when I still get overwhelmed by them. I am passing through one of those moments now. And it’s been challenging to talk about them…even though I work with emotions constantly.
When I look back at the situation with my friend Caleb the one thing I always wished was that he would’ve told me what was going on with him. I’m not sure I wouldn’t have had the tools or understanding to help him as I do now but I wish I had known. As I walk through the journey that I’m walking through in this moment I realize how difficult it is to tell people what’s truly going on inside of me. Fear of not being seen, fear of being rejected and fear of being seen as weak all come to top of mind when I think about telling people the deep grief and pain I am passing through. I also feel an immense about of love…which I also have not been sharing.
I recognize that I place pressure on myself that as a coach I should have it all together. I should know how to navigate through these tough challenges with ease and grace. And I know I’m fully setting myself up for what Christine Hassler would call an expectation hangover. But do we need to pass through them with ease and grace? Or can we let it be messy?
I think the biggest challenge for me is people projecting their thoughts and ideas on what I should do and not do. The last thing I need are projections and judgments. Really the last thing any of us need are projections and judgments. Yet it feels like that’s the only thing we know how to give. And we feel we should give something. We give our projections and judgements because we are so disconnected from ourselves and our emotions that it’s uncomfortable to allow ourselves to see another in their emotions.
When we are overwhelmed with emotions we need a container to feel safe to go deeper within ourselves. To touch those tender parts, to embrace them as they are in this moment, and to be allowed to fully feel them without judgement or changing them. To know no matter what we are loved and supported in that moment.
I truly believe this is what my friend Caleb, Robin Williams and many others needed… actually all of us need. When we no longer feel we belong and/or feel safe being ourselves then what is left for us? We hide, we feel alone even when surrounded by others, we disconnect and some of us disappear forever.
We can do better than this. We can create spaces and ultimately a world where there is no shame, fear, judgement or projection for having emotions or passing through challenging times. We can easily reach out to each other when we need that safe container to move through something in our lives. This is my vision for future and I look forward to watching it start to unfold more in 2022.
Much Love & Light,