July 30, 2019

And Sometimes, No One is going to Show Up for You.


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If you’re reading this, then well-done for finding the courage to contemplate a painful truth: sometimes, however much you need them to, no one is going to show up for you.

It may hurt to acknowledge this and for that I am truly sorry. If I was with you, I would hold you tight in my arms, wipe the tears from your cheeks, and promise you that everything will be okay. But sadly, the reality is you may be facing your current difficulties alone.

Perhaps no one witnesses your pain. People may not be aware of your struggle and cannot offer support if you do not take a first brave step toward them.

But sometimes, even when you do reach out to others, they still seem ambivalent or oblivious to what you are going through. At this point, try to remember that, for their own reasons, humans can be busy or self-absorbed (just as we all are sometimes) and lack the capacity to empathize with their fellow beings. It is a tragedy of our disconnected, individualist society that we are scared of emotion and don’t always know how to connect with each other in a profoundly loving way anymore.

The key thing is that others not showing up for you is not a reflection of you and your worth.

Nevertheless, it sucks and it’s okay to allow yourself to feel like sh*t if that’s how you feel. It’s okay to sink down for a while, sob until you have no tears left, and listen to the music that claws at your heart. But, be aware that bubbling under your resistance to the sense of abandonment is the reality that you are alone right now, and no amount of despair or longing is going to change that.

Realise that your family, your friends, the guy or girl who messages all the time and occasionally stays over, cannot save you from your own pain. After wrestling back and forth with the injustice of the situation and ways of escaping your distress, often for a long time, you eventually arrive at a point of acceptance in your aloneness.

And in that moment, you will show up for yourself.

So here it is: you have a deep wellspring of resources available to yourself. You know exactly what kind of soothing and care you need, far better than anyone else.

You know precisely the right words to bring comfort to yourself. You know the music that taps into your soul and brings you both joy and bittersweet pain. You know the places your thoughts go to after a few too many whiskeys. You know the memories that carry a searing pain you can barely acknowledge to yourself, let alone others.

You know the remedies to heal your troubled mind and tired body that no one else gets quite right. Only you can fully appreciate every beautiful intricacy of your heart and your mind, and your face and your body, in those first waking moments of each day.

In fact, having been acquainted with and inhabited yourself for your entire life, you know everything that your complex, inscrutable being feels and needs. You are uniquely well-placed to be your own best friend, mother, and lover rolled into one.

If you could invest the same loving, attentive care in yourself that you devote to other people, you would be the absolute best person that has ever shown up for you.

Imagine channeling inward that deep empathy you feel for those you love. It may seem unfamiliar or self-indulgent, but why would you deny yourself the compassion you willingly give to others?

Whoever you are and whatever messages you received to the contrary in the past, please know that you deserve that same loving-kindness for yourself.

You don’t need to wait for others to make your life better.

You don’t need to pin happiness on a partner, family, friends, job, or a certain future to feel complete.

However bleak your current situation is, you have the most fundamental thing you need right here.

You have yourself.

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