“Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.” ~ Mitch Albom
It was the first day I was able to get out of bed since getting my heart shattered.
I thought I would practice a little self care and get my hair cut, try to start feeling human again.
When my hairdresser asked how I had been, I didn’t even know how to answer the question. I wanted to lie and say “fine” because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you make small talk. Before I even realized what was happening, the tears started rolling down my cheeks—and then came the daunting realization that I was not yet ready for small talk.
Without missing a beat, this woman who barely knew me gathered me in her arms and held me as I sobbed in the middle of the salon, broken and crushed, my heart scattered everywhere, like the locks of hair across the floor.
She said to me, “I can feel every ounce of your pain and its heartbreaking.”
I had been feeling so incredibly hurt and angry and hopeless for days. When people we open our hearts and souls to hurt us, we lose faith. When the unthinkable happens, and we realize that the person we built a life with isn’t actually our person, it isn’t an easy thing to process at first.
I was embarrassed that I could not hold myself together for a simple haircut. Coming undone and falling apart is not exactly something I wanted to share with the world—I wanted to put on a front and act like I didn’t give a sh*t because I deserved better anyway.
I felt like my tears were admitting my failure. I had lost a relationship, lost a friend, and lost a home—I was lost.
But this angel of a practical stranger me took care of me in a way that I so needed. I opened up to someone I hardly knew, and just let all my hurt pour out into her arms. We cried together.
In just that moment, my wound closed just a bit more, and served as a gentle reminder that there are truly good people in this world. I began to understand that I was not alone, and that my heart would someday heal.
Most importantly, this act of kindness showed me that it’s okay to admit that you’re not okay.
In times of sorrow and devastation, it’s okay to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. It’s okay to let others take care of us sometimes.
When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, it makes room in our hearts for those who deserve a place in it. And in being comfortable with this process, it teaches us to feel for others and care for others who are going through their own hurts. It makes us human.
Sometimes it just starts with a haircut. (Mine was free.)
Author: Marianne Veitch
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren