Dropping off my children at school this morning, I noticed the pubescent girl with blunted face, guarded eyes, crossed arms, standing alone even surrounded by other kids. Ouch! I wanted to hover over her. Guard her from what ever it is that’s scaring her. Touch her arms and hair and make her understand that she is important to the universe on a small-scale and large-scale. Of course I might have been arrested if I did, so I just walked on to safety.
Jeff Wise, author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger, writes
A feeling of connection to others is nature’s Xanax.
Some of my families with disabled children struggle hard to take care of their own. They often wait until at cliffs edge emotionally, financially, physically to consider placement for their disabled child. When helping them get past their barriers to placement, we find guilt, fear and shame in the way. These children often do better physically and emotionally when they are in group homes and away from the emotional burdens in their nuclear family homes. We need community and community needs us. Each of us. Joana Johnson, neuroscientist, says that placement, is in fact a way families can connect with their community and with their child.
Some skeptic personalities struggle to trust the links between us, not out of paranoia, but rather because it is the hard-wiring in their nature
to question things. There is also the introvert, who is often alone not because they don’t like people, but because that is how they get energy. However, regardless of genetic predispositions, we are all designed to have community.
Mary Shelley tells us through her Frankenstein, that we are better people in the company of others. We see forces that keep us from sharing ourselves. But let us not believe those forces. Break past. Let us believe our own better Creator who tells us, connect. Tell our stories. Stick a finger out and get in someone’s space. Do what we must to let them into ours.
Self Care Tip #42 – Share yourself and get community. Be a friend to yourself.