“We must learn to talk about the most difficult things, easily.”
― Srividya Srinivasan
I was looking for a quote the other day and stumbled across this one. I absolutely love it! I don’t know what, specifically Ms. Srinivasan was thinking about, but I can think of SO many topics that it fits.
Lately, our day to day lives have been the tough stuff. There are five of us waiting on military orders to make a cross country move while my husband’s current command schedule literally changes daily. We’ve already sold our house and moved out of it which meant packing and cleaning to make it market-worthy, then packing and storing our goods, then cleaning once it sold. We’re now living in a camper, which leaves us all with no privacy, no space, and no true home. We are all dealing with the stress in our own ways – and they’re varied – and trying to love the people we love through it all, which includes people we’re going to miss when we move, people we’re excited to see again, and the five of us who might not be so lovable right now. This is our current tough stuff.
And I talk about it. I talk with the kids about how the stress manifests itself physically in exhaustion, in bouncy feet, in constant chatter. We talk about how it comes across mentally with nightmares, with short tempers, with frustration. We talk about all the different emotions we’re feeling – not wanting to leave, being excited to see a new place, fear, joy, anxiety, loss – the whole gamut. And hopefully in talking about all of this it lessens their load and mine. We help each other carry the tough things.
And then there are those not daily big things. Like the yearly anniversary of when I was raped – Memorial Day. Twenty five years ago this year. I tried to write a post about that, but nothing was right. The mix of everything I was feeling…the stress in my daily life…the fact that I adulted all day long even though I wanted to curl up and cry on many occasions…it just wasn’t flowing. So instead of writing about how far I’ve come, or how far I haven’t, I shared my story again. I reached out with the words I’d already written because even when we don’t know what to say or how to say it, it is important to talk about the tough stuff. Rape is tough stuff.
As important as I find talking about feelings and experiences and sitting around a table, sipping something and sharing…I don’t think its always (or even often) easy. I’m not quite at the goal Srividya Srinivasan has set for us. Yet. But, I’ll keep working until I figure out a way to make it easier for all of us.
Whilst dealing with the tough stuff in our lives I occasionally take the time to read a page or two from The Book of Joy, by the His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. It’s a book I’m digesting in small bites. And, like much of life, it’s speaking to me and helping me grow. Just like the quote I started this piece with…here’s a quote from the book that seems fitting:
“To hold down emotions…is not wise. I would go ahead and even maybe shout out your sadness and pain. This can bring you back to normal.”
Being vulnerable isn’t easy. I hope, though, that my openness gives you strength to shout your sadness in whatever way is least uncomfortable and to find your way back to normal. I will say, though, that normal can change in the blink of an eye and sometimes doesn’t last for much longer when you do find it! That darn tough stuff is always there. All the more reason not to ignore it or swallow it or bury it. Talk about it. Let it out. Love yourself enough.