When Clouds Roll In - When Life is Hard...The other day at work I generically threw out my token, how are you today?
“I hate that question.” The customer barked.
One look told me he was not joking.
In that moment I was given the opportunity to react in one of two ways:
One, determine that he was a grouch and make a quick exit or…
Read between the lines and realize there was far more to his story than mere grumpiness.
So I stopped and looked directly at him.
“I’ve been there.” I nodded. “I’ve had a season in my life when I hated that question too.”
Just that one comforting sentence made all the difference. His whole countenance changed. He went from exuding anger to a place of honest vulnerability.
His eyes flickered away, as he tried to disguise the tears that surfaced.
“I’ve had a real long string of bad luck,” he offered. “So you’re not going to get a proverbial “fine” out of me.”
“That’s okay” I said, “I prefer honesty any day.”
A reluctant smile stretched ever so briefly across his face.
This incident brought back the pain, the sorrow, the acute loneliness I felt in the midst of my darkest season of life. I too hated anyone to ask me how I was. I felt like a player in a grand masquerade every time I said I was fine.
There was nothing fine about my life.
Betrayal brought instability, insecurity, and the inability to lie to myself or anyone else.
If you find your life in a place of struggle, I offer a small piece of advice from someone who has been there. Do not deny your pain. It’s okay to NOT have it all together. It’s okay to be vulnerable and allow your pain a voice. Yes, you may have to choose an appropriate time and place to grieve, but allow that time daily. This means, find a place you can cry, scream, and let the pain out where you do not have to answer to anyone.
In Friday’s blog I will continue on the same theme on why and how to effectively grieve.