And then you sit and have coffee with a friend that maybe took a whole month to plan and make happen. You know that friend – someone who really is about you, who looks at you and sees your goodness – even if your hair is a mess, even when you share a story of something you aren’t proud of but is real and raw, even if you might sound insecure. That friend whom you can ask, “Can you help me figure this out?” Whether it has to do with your relationships, your work, your kiddos, your dreams – she gets you and supports you.
It takes less than an hour to feel heard, to be seen, to feel regarded…and refreshed – to go “back out there” and be in the world.
I had that kind of coffee date today.
So often in my work, I am used to the one doing the holding – the one doing the regarding and the “holding space” that it has grown hard for me to share, to be vulnerable, and to ask for someone to “hear me out” or “help me figure this out.” But every time I go into my vulnerability, acknowledge it’s there, AND still choose to open, I am met with such compassion. It reminds me that we have to keep being vulnerable, keep opening to a few close ones, keep reaching out, and keep asking for someone to just “be alongside us” in the everydayness of our lives.
Every single mom (well, and really – every single PERSON I know) needs spaces where she can be vulnerable, imperfect, not all together…and not be judged. But that takes slowing down and SEEING our fellow mamas – and listening to the need – spoken and unspoken.
THAT is a rare treasure in this culture of hurry where we are all so busy. Well, I don’t want to be too busy to “not see.” I don’t want to be so isolated in my own little world of thinking that I do not ask “to be seen.” I know that there is a LOT wrong with this culture here in the U.S. There is an epidemic of loneliness. But I continue to be on a mission to cultivate and nourish community. And often it’s just with one look of regard as we pick up our kiddos from school, inviting a friend to “hear you out,” and making the time to be with each other.
So let’s just assume that every other mama is neurotic in her own way, she wonders if she is a good mom, she doesn’t have it all together, she feels scared at times to show how alone or lost she is, and she could use a good cup of coffee…and a chat.
Friends, if you are in the Frederick, MD area THIS Sunday, I’ll be at Spirit Fest! Come to the Delaplaine Visual Arts Educational Center from 11-5. I’ll be debuting several new collections of my greeting cards. While I’m really good at supporting others in pursuing their dreams, I’m reallllly shy about inviting others into my dreams and helping me. Well, it’s been a dream of mine for decades to put my poetic words out into the world in beautiful ways to inspire more delight, compassion and connection in our everyday lives. And little by little, I’m finding the courage as people tell me again and again how something I shared so deeply resonated with them. So…thank you! And if you are in Frederick, stop by and see the handmade cards I’ve been working on so much lately!
Lisa A. McCrohan
MA, LCSW-C, RYT
Mom. Compassion Coach. Psychotherapist. Delight Passionista.
** Check out my “work in progress” and “almost there” new website! Visit the Barefoot Barn for the 411 on psychotherapy and compassion coaching. Stay tuned for the big move – this blog will be going to my new website. And I thank my awesome web designer, Rachel, for definitely seeing where I am soooo not perfect and where I’m vulnerable, and making me feel empowered and supported!)