Take a deep breath.
Take note of all that is around you. Take note of what’s going on. What’s filling your thoughts? Any worries? If so, what’s triggering those worries? Is there anything creating fear and/or a lack of confidence in your life?
Your thoughts are normal. Acknowledge them.
"But I feel embarrassed that I'm worried about X. That's so silly. Other people don't worry about it...why can't I just be normal?"
As one of our wise hoot-owl friends says, "Quit having feelings about your feelings." Having these feelings doesn't decrease your value.
Your thoughts are no different than anyone else's no matter what Facebook or Instagram say. Lee Ann and I struggle. We fight. We aren't jolly 24/7. We're human beings.
Imagine that you could openly share, without ANY fear of judgement, all of the things you're worried about (from your list above) with someone. Someone to walk alongside you as you process and deal with the blues, worries, "uglies", and "lonelies" going on around you. Someone to just listen and not try to solve the problem for you, but more importantly, EMPATHIZE with you. Someone to acknowledge your hardships and pain. Like Bubba.
If I was to ever pen a title for a book, it would be something like “The Subtle Art of Caring for Others.” This would be a follow up to a book by Mark Manson, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a.......” (yes, it's a real book).
I believe that life is intrinsically hard and difficult. I believe that it can also be full of love, joy, and peace. Lee Ann and I strongly believe that life would be more joyful and peaceful for all of us if we each 1) slowed down and poured into others and 2) allowed others to pour into us.
I’m not talking about your responsibilities or obligations of caring for others, i.e. kids, I’m referring to going out of your way to care for someone - to be there to listen, celebrate, commiserate, laugh, scream, cry, and cheer. Does this take effort? Yes. But think for a moment how you would feel if someone did this for you not only in your moments of sadness, but also when things are looking up? How you would feel if someone who had nothing to gain from it just cared for you? I think we all know that warm feeling just from thinking about it. You may feel even a touch of sadness longing for it.
All it takes is one. One person to care. One person to show love and kindness. One person that is willing to slow down and just be with you.
You are worth that.
You are not a burden.
You are amazing.
It’s just a thought.
But I’m willing to bet that this idea of proactively caring for someone else can not only change someone else’s life for the better, but yours as well. And no, we aren't suggesting that the list of worries and tough junk will magically disappear from a stroll in the park with a friend.
But maybe, just maybe, the list won’t seem so overwhelming. Because now you know you are not alone.
Know that you are loved.
Know that what you do for a living does not determine your value as an individual.
Know that we are here.
Life can be hard by yourself. Let us be your Bubba and Forrest Gump.....or for you Disney fans, Woody and Buzz.
You've got a friend in me.