One response I have consistently received to my writing over the years is “I’m so glad you wrote about XYZ. I’ve been feeling the same way.”
I have learned that no matter how topsy turvy/random/overwhelming my feelings seem, chances are, someone and, more often than not, many people I know are feeling the same way.
In our culture, there is a lot of toxic pride in our pain/sadness/confusion/loneliness where folks holdfast, white knuckled onto it. It becomes a center stone of our self identity.
Because our culture overvalues independence and weaves it in with the idea of “success,” we are conditioned to work through pain alone because A) we are weak if we admit to all or any of the feelings, B) our pain is so unique no one can help us through it, and C) no one really cares about our pain because they are focused on their own lives.
We wallow in our pain alone, further imprinting into our psyche that we are our faults and doubling down on not looking weak or unstable by keeping it all to ourselves.
In a world where we are mass marketed to and are treated as a number, being the “only one” of anything feels nice and validating, and we will grasp at whatever that one thing is even if it is something terrible. We proudly claim the scarlet letter as our own, not willing to look around to see if anyone else is wearing the same one because if others also have that scarlet letter, then we lose who we are – we become just another person.
We have been conditioned to think that pain and anguish and feelings are meant to be felt alone because our pain makes us who we are. Our identity becomes wrapped up into our pain where the borders of each bleed into one another. The fear of losing that identity prevents us from sharing or seeking empathy and also prevents us from showing empathy.
The reality, though, is bonding over pain is much more powerful than trying to one up each other on our surface level happiness and success. Bonding leads to connection which leads to community and helping one another. It’s not that we can’t rise out of our pain with our own will power and knowledge and abilities, but it is so much easier to do it together.
A daily practice challenges the person who creates on “inspiration.” We have to mother everyday, and ultimately, it is the daily grind that gives us perspective, clarity and the “high’s” of motherhood. I am exploring if the same happens when I write everyday on the topics that normally light me up – motherhood, self-development, healing and creating. Sign up here to receive those thought nuggets in your inbox on the daily.