We Belong to Each Other
Let me tell you a neat fact about me: I teach self-compassion. Simply put, self-compassion is basically about gearing down on the self-loathing voice that often runs at full-tilt through our mind. I’ve been studying and practicing this for years, and I’m mostly decent at quieting my inner bully.
So, imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago, after getting ready for a fancy, dress-up event, I stood in front of my full- length mirror bawling my eyes out at my reflection. There I was, hair done, nails done, everything done, sobbing. I had spent hours getting ready and I hated the reflection looking back at me. The inner critic was in full force and she was relentless.
Pretty nice start to a gala, now wasn’t it?
After pep talks from loving friends, dismantling the hair and makeup and starting again, I got myself together and headed out. Despite my earlier category 6 meltdown, I had a good night (I have since learned that I just really like looking like me, and not having contouring or fancy hair).
During the evening, something magical happened to me. A woman- a stranger- tapped me on the shoulder and complimented me on my “Gala: Take Two” look. I asked her name (Hilary) and shared with her how my inner bully had almost taken me right out of the enjoyment of the evening. She listened, empathized and connected with me. I felt like she had some- how known I was suffering before the event and had come over to help me quiet the inner bully.
I haven’t stopped thinking of her since, because it reminded me of this: we belong to each other. We really, really do. My sisters, we belong to each other in every way. We belong to each other when we are suffering and someone comes along to walk you through the pain. We belong to each other when we toast to accomplishments, to love, to the memories of those not here. We even belong to each other at the grocery store, at the gym, at the mall doing Christmas shopping.
It’s the holidays, and that can be wonderful, awful or a bit of both. Family dynamics can be hard, money can be tight, threatening calls to Santa can be plentiful. So, remember to look for the tiny, magical moments of human connection. Remember to initiate those magical moments of connection- to yourself, to your loved ones, and to strangers who you suspect might have been crying in their Spanx earlier. Be the bridge this year. We need each other. We belong to each other. Happy holidays.
May you be happy,