This morning I caught up with a good friend who has had an interesting year in addition to Covid.
Last winter, her house was hit by a huge tree that fell on the backside of the house incurring a large amount of damage to it and necessitated moving out with her husband and their very small son.
The damage was so extensive that many months later they are just finalizing the plans and permits.
She is lucky, her family is nearby and she is spending the month of July at the beach.
She mentioned that she had recently tried jet skiing and fallen off. She was never so glad to have a life vest on. It floated her to the surface sputtering and kept her afloat until they could get back on the jetski.
Any experience that suddenly catapults us into such a feeling of helplessness leaves us feeling disoriented and vulnerable
She described how grateful she is that she was wearing that vest. She went on to compare it to the situations that propel us into those states of being where suddenly we are unsure, unconfident and utterly fearful.
She compared the life jacket to the invisible emergency packs that, we can hand someone at any instant to help them get through that rough patch or help them regain their equilibrium. Fear has no schedule in case you hadn’t noticed. It comes unannounced and many times, unprovoked. We all need metaphorical lifejackets and sometimes- the real thing.
She fell into the water while changing drivers. She went on to say that In that moment, she was completely disoriented and panicking, and realized the value of support whether physical or emotional.
She went on to say: “We assume everyone is wearing armor and is fine all the time but sometimes the support you give is the very emergency pack they need not at the precise moment you hand it to them – but later down the road, it might be the life vest they forgot they had in their backpack.”
Her comment about everyone wearing armor made me realize the importance of not believing what we see.
The most put-together people can be melting down in front of you, even when they look completely composed. We can’t always allow our vulnerability to show. It might be better to assume that everyone you meet throughout your day is vulnerable in some way and might welcome a small emergency packet of support in the form of some kind of loving connection – your choice.
It wouldn’t cost you much time or effort, but it might add a rich dimension to your life to start each day deciding what you might do. You can test it – now it’s an experiment!
See how you feel after you share it, observe how others react. Listen for comments either at the time or later. And, most importantly, notice how you feel upon delivery. Notice, as you practice this day by day, what is changing inside you.