Today something unexpected happened to me. Something I would have been ashamed to admit in the past. I cried. At work. That’s right! You heard it here first! I cried at work today! The earth didn’t stop spinning on it’s axis. The sun didn’t stop shining. Time didn’t stand still. I cried. I dried my eyes. And it was okay!
To be told, “We care about your safety.” “We care about our staff.” “We care about you.” “I’m concerned for you.” Well, I was overcome. To be reassured, time again – and I was ready to hand in my resignation! But no! To be valued as more than an employee, but a person... Wow!
Today, I met with someone, just to process some of the events that had occurred over the past weeks. I expressed the emotions I had been experiencing. She said to me, “You are human. Give yourself space to feel. If you are worried about not being strong, you are already strong. You already did a lot. Allow yourself space to feel. Allow yourself to cry. It’s okay.” In my mind, I knew all of what she said… I just think I needed to hear someone tell me that it was okay. There were those that seemed to have a “brush it off, move on, no big deal” attitude. But, to me, it is a big deal. I was violated. It is a vulnerable feeling. I have never been one to feel like I need someone, but this past weekend, I did not want to be alone!
Now, I am working on allowing myself to feel, accepting what happened, and moving on. But, all in time… I won’t rush the process.
I do not know everything but I know enough to know the pressures of society. The pressures of being a female. The pressures of weight gain. What a scary thing to know that raising daughters, they too face these pressures. To reassure her that you are beautiful; To tell her that she is not fat (how I detest that word); To try to get through to her that she is good enough just the way she is… Is painful.
To see your child try to stand strong, a trait she surely learned from you, pains you all the more as you recite to her the very words that were said to you moments before: It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel. You’re human. We feel, we cry, we hurt. Allow yourself to cry. This is a safe space. There is a strength in tears. To counsel her on body mass index, to show her that she is indeed healthy. I do not know if she really listens or understands what I am saying, but I pray that she will understand one day how beautiful she is, how loved she is, and how dear she is! If I could but shelter her from all of the pressures of this life, I would! Instead, I will be here, cheering her on, and ready to offer support when needed.