Some friends of mine have suffered the devastating loss of their child. A sweet boy who decided the pain of the earth was not worth living through any more. And so: directed his own way to a place where he believed he would feel whole and belong. Where he could find peace. Something, for all the hugs and love and warmth and cuddles and care he always had from his family, he just couldn’t find on earth.
The mind is a cruel, powerful master. It can strip the beauty of the day in a blink, and leave us with hard fibres of loneliness and fear. It can sow doubt and mistrust, where none belong. It can decimate any bubble of joy with cruel judgement and slander. Make hard truths of lies. Single us out. Separate us from the familiar and known.
And each day: adrift on a wave of our own misgivings, we stand and we look in the mirror and we believe what we think. And we are crushed a little bit more.
I want this to stop. I want days to be more fun and for us to forgive ourselves for the things that unseat and unsettle. To embrace anyone excluded or strange. To put out a hand and send a smile. To stop for a beat before we deem. To ask the questions when they need to be asked: Are you doing ok? Can I be of some help? Do you need a moment to sit and talk?
And then to stay and listen when someone answers “Yes, please I do.”
Let’s all try it for the rest of the week. Let’s soften our eyes to ourselves and towards others. Smile when we speak. Hush the demons when they come to call: “not now, thank you. I am busy being happy.” Let’s do one fun thing for ourselves every day. And then one for someone else. Whether it is just a wink, or a small courtesy, a hug, touch or a favour paid forward. Let’s hold our tongues when we start to speak ill of ourselves. Or of another.