I was in a store right after work today. I needed to get a few things. A woman in the makeup section was frustrated. She was moving things from side to side. I was trying to get something for one of my little girl’s teachers. I looked up from the shelf and just stared at her. She looked as if the world was coming undone.
I took a step back and asked, “Oh sweetheart, are you okay?”
“This holiday shit has me so stressed out….” (she had a mini rant which needed to come out).
I took her hand, removed the soap in it and asked her to please breathe deeply with me. (I often wonder how folks don’t slap me). I asked if we could just stay present for a few seconds. We stood staring at each other. She actually took the deepest inhale and together we exhaled simultaneously. I asked for another. And another.
So we stood there…two middle aged women with odds and ends in carts understanding with little words that it’s okay to come undone. What’s not okay is for the reasons of the commercialized season. It’s not okay to feel like we have to give to everyone. It’s not okay to consume debt that needs to be paid off next year. It’s not okay to have to feel that giving symbolizes how we feel for another. It’s not okay to feel anxiety and frantic energy.
Her tears began to fall. I held my hands around her cheeks and kissed her. She hugged me as if we were each other’s lifeline. Her body felt as if it was finally collapsing from the stress.
Darlings, that’s more like what this season is for…reaching out to others. It’s about understanding that we are connected. Screw the shopping. Take someone for a cup of coffee. Hug a stranger. Give a freaking yummy compliment. Send a card with glitter. Leave some cookies at a neighbor.
The season of giving is about gratitude and sharing. It has nothing to do with consumerism.
We are all in this. I love you. Allow for the emotions to come up and out. And if some crazy woman with fairy tinsel in her hair comes up to you…allow her to hug and love you. I don’t want to get slapped.