So many feelings. Such little time…or that’s what it freakin’ seems like, anyway.
I feel it all.
I lean in, empathize, and listen with my heart. Caring for others is amazing.
Each day, I hear stories of triumph, fresh grief, raw tumbles of heartbreak, the power of love, unbearable pain, hot anger, empty loneliness, thudding hopelessness, wild resilience, and hard-won wisdom.
A thousand threads, a kaleidoscope of emotion woven into the hours of a single day—a way to summarize my job as a therapist.
I let it all pulse through me. I love it. I am meant for it.
To feel with others, watch them rise, witness their growth, encourage them to be softer with themselves, to see their beauty in the sh*tty, broken moments, and celebrate the sweet times, too.
There is no greater honor—and I don’t feel sorry for myself.
But sometimes, it all catches up with me when I slow down.
I hurt. I feel blurry and exhausted, pieces of other people’s story fly around me like pages of books I’ve read alongside them.
It’s not mine.
It’s not my story or my feelings, but I forget that.
And it hurts to forget that.
That’s why I need to stretch into the wide open hills of solitude and crawl slowly back to myself, warmed by the sunlight and a raw release of raining tears.
Yes. I run toward the self-expression that always brings me back to center—writing.
Words are an indescribable home, like lush forests in the rain, bare feet, and strong black tea.
I speak. I let it all out. I roar and whisper.
See, I love tasting the sunset like mango strawberry sorbet with my whole being, but it’s hard when we feel other people’s pain so intensely. And damn, it just plain stings to be sensitive in this world sometimes.
Paint splatters and long-awaited sighs from deep in my lungs color the afternoon, stretching into the humid glow of a slow summer evening. Word after word falls from my lips, glistening like stars from my fingertips.
Finally, my muscles loosen and I can breathe again.
Sweet, welcome relief. I can make sense of things when they’re on the page. It can be organized, processed, understood—and as the words form—from rubble inside into a rough structure of sentences—I write my freedom.
And in those swirling winds of freedom that comb my hair so deliciously, like tall grass rustling in a bright, overgrown meadow, I remember this: I don’t have to hold it all. I can’t hold it all.
Neither can you.
We are not meant to hold other people’s pain. We can hold gentle space for them to process the sh*t that hurts, problem-solve together, teach skills, and genuinely, deeply care. But it is theirs to grapple with, to grow through. We can’t do that for them—but just being there means so much.
It is enough. It is enough. It is enough.
Set down what isn’t yours. Feel it slide off your shoulders. Trust in other people’s resiliency and strength.
Don’t stop caring about those precious ones—but don’t stop caring about yourself either.
Find the things that breathe life and fire into you and do them whenever you can.
Soak up rest and play with a sparkly straw, instead of running on empty until your body throbs with exhaustion.
Not selfish. Not selfish. Not selfish.
Repeat it until you believe it, until it becomes a well-traversed road—warm and tough and true like blossoms in a desert springtime.
To care for ourselves just as tenderly as we care for others.
Come back to you.