How are we all even feeling after the first two weeks of 2021? A lot has already happened, and there are so many emotions and feelings to process over the last several days- on top of everything else we have been dealing with in our homes, our families, our communities, and our world.
I hope everyone who is reading this feels as if they can take a moment this weekend to just breathe. Put down everything you have been carrying and be kind to yourself. You are not expected to have it together all of the time. “It’s okay to cry sometimes and let it out. Actually, it’s brave to cry”. A powerful message Clay’s father shares with his son in the first few pages of my story. We have become accustomed to a world where trauma is normalized and emotions are numbed. “It is easier to get through the day if I feel nothing at all” is a common phrase I have heard throughout the years or “feelings just slow me down”. But how are we supposed to learn and grow from these feelings if we continue to push them deep down into the darkness?
It’s important to feel the fear; the anger; the frustration; the sadness. It is so important to make the time for yourself to just… feel. Because if we (as adults, as parents, as teachers, as providers, physicians, big brothers or sisters) are having trouble processing our own feelings, imagine how hard and confusing the first two weeks of 2021 was for children. If we don’t have these difficult conversations with our kiddos, they will assume they are not meant to be had- that the hard feelings aren’t supposed to be shared; that they are supposed to be silenced. I am exhausted by the inaccurate perception that crying makes you weak. Now more than ever it is important that children know vulnerability can be a superpower.
So my wish is that you all have the ability to make the time for yourself over the long weekend. Make the time for your self care and preservation. To take a hot shower or go on a long walk. To listen to music or to meditate. To cook your favorite soup or to call an old friend. Make time to move your body and make the time to take a nap. But most importantly, make the time to process; to feel; to cry.