We easily attach ourselves to the super hero in a movie. Where the world around them is crumbling while they calmly try to make things better. Admiring the confident leader who brings calm to the people around them during times of struggle.
Yet as humans, each of us face times when our emotions are uncontrollable. Our minds racing to stories with the worst endings. Hearts that truly hurt without comfort. Uncertainty encouraging the intensity of feelings when no new information exists.
Recently, I experienced eight hours of this. Describing it to a couple of close friends that I was in a “bad place”. Strange to say from someone who is normally calm and has faced great adversity in his life before. Moments of weakness confirm our humanity. They don’t define who we are.
Fascinating to experience, why does the mind always travel to the worst? Within this stew of emotion, I found both regret and clarity. Clarity for better understanding the value of a relationship temporarily suspended because of crisis. Regret for not being as present at times as needed, now knowing how quickly things could change.
The health challenge presented to a loved one, is difficult to process. Especially, for me, during the eight hours that I knew nothing about her immediate situation or diagnosis. Nor was my partner, my wife, communicating with me via text during this time. Blinded by the negative outcomes my mind had clearly processed prior to her encouraging diagnosis. Thankfully, things are getting better and she is now home.
Uncontrollable tears are a symptom of hurt that is hard to triage. My only comfort, during those eight hours, was the generosity of good friends who simply chose to listen. I, the strong one, was uncontrollably weak for a short time.
Moments of weakness need a pillow made of human connection. Together with a mix of love, faith, and compassion. We can never internalize another’s moment of weakness. Nor can we solve it. Moments of weakness demand compassion not empathy born out of love for each other.
There can be no judgment of a person when you see them in their moment of weakness either. They are only affirming our humanity while confirming the tremendous hurt within their heart. Reminding us that we too may be vulnerable during difficult times.
Tomorrow, it may be our turn. A moment in time, that no one can prepare for.