I recently found a box of old letters from high school that had been locked away for 25 years. It threw me into the ocean of nostalgia, but neglected to send me off with a life jacket. I’ve been bobbing on these waters for a few weeks now, sometimes finding myself bawling my head off in the past, and at others smiling back from the present on incredible memories.
It brought up a lot, and highlighted some important healing I had to do. It was hard, but I know that the key to healing is feeling, and I gave myself the space to do so without any judgement and fought that nagging urge to shut it down.
The result is an emotionally exhausted but fully present woman that is writing this piece right now.
Life is hard.
As I reflected, the first thing I saw was the trauma. All the ways the world had come for me but not quite claimed me, and I saw all the ways my young mind twisted and turned to protect me. It’s crazy how much our brains have our backs, even though they’re often misguided – but they stop at nothing to protect us from things that are too big to handle.
When I think back on my life, I’ve really only recounted my life. My experience, my hardships, my triumphs. But as I was scrolling through the ‘gram recently, I saw a movie that caught my attention.
It was Fred Rogers, or as we all knew him, Mr. Rogers, giving an acceptance speech. And in it, he encouraged the people listening to take 10 seconds to remember the people who “loved them into being.” It was set to beautiful music, and it was very emotional.
Don’t look back, unless you’re wearing gratitude goggles.
I went back to my box of letters and read them with those eyes. With eyes of gratitude and reflection. And what was previously hidden from me became blindingly clear.
I have never been alone.
No matter what I was doing or where I was, there has always been at least one person there to catch me. And whether it was one person or many holding it up, there was always a nest of comfort and support. No matter how far back I go, no matter which trauma I’m reflecting on, there was always at least one angel there, cushioning my fall, lifting me up, and loving me into being.
Sometimes it was family, sometimes a friend, sometimes a teacher or a coworker, but there was always someone.
You are worthy of support.
As I’ve grown older I have been more able to lean into these supports, and my nest is so huge and full now that it’s sometimes hard for me to comprehend. Part of it is growing and testing the waters and building trust in your worthiness to be supported. But I think the game changer is that as I’ve grown older and stronger, I can truly feel the joy of supporting other people, which gives me permission to accept the support from others as it was given to me – with joy.
The movie wraps up with Mr. Rogers saying, “how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they’ve made,” and how true that is on both ends. To know that I may have made someone’s life easier, helped them move forward or grow, is such an honour and a blessing.
Name your nest.
I named the people in my nest. It’s such a powerful exercise. You can watch mine here.
I actually went through and took stock of the most important needle movers in my life, and guys, I HIGHLY recommend it. Of course you won’t remember everyone but you can hold space for them.
And what does it say about you to have always been supported?
It means someone, or something is truly looking out for you. And if that’s the case, you’re capable of anything and everything.
So what am I getting at with all of this? I want you to look around and assess your nest. Lean in toward the people who are supporting you, and support them right back. Because together, you’re unstoppable.
P.S. If you feel called to do an Instagram post about gratitude this week, tag me! I’d love to see who “loved you into being.”