Courtesy of the inspirational Glennon Doyle:
If we stopped being so afraid of pain, we would find our power.
If we stopped being so afraid of pain, we would become the parents our kids need. It's not our job - nor our right - to protect our kids from pain. It's our job to point them directly toward their struggle and say, "see that? That was made for you. Your journey is straight through your story. I see your fear, and it's big. But I also see your courage - and it's bigger. You can do hard things.
If we stopped being so afraid of pain we would become the kind of friends our people need. We don't need our friends to try to fix our pain - pain, like joy, is holy. We need friends who are brave enough to be still with our pain, who will sit - stunned and sad and powerless - with us. Because friendship is just two people not being God together.
If we stopped being afraid of pain, we'd become the kind of Americans our nation needs. We cannot afford to become numb to the pain of these difficult days. The pain has woken us up and united us. It is a painful gift. Our collective pain will become our collective power.
Our power to rise is inside of our pain in our relationships, our communities, and our country. First the pain, then the rising. First the pain, then the rising.
I came across these words YEARS ago, and they've quietly rested, untouched in a blog post draft, for nearly that long. Until I came across them at the end of June and realized both how much I needed them and how closely they match up with where I find myself "life-wise"...as a mother, a friend, and an American, but also as an individual.
I don't deny that I am afraid of pain. Not physical pain, interestingly enough, but emotional and mental pain. I need to learn how to sit with pain, to really feel it, and then move forward - toward progress and, hopefully, eventual happiness - despite the hurt. Perhaps this will be my resolution* for the coming year.
For a variety of reasons, I set myself free from resolutions about a year-and-a-half ago. Read the post in which I explain my thought process here, and if you want a good laugh, check the date of the post and then scroll to and read just the last paragraph.