We’ve had more time to unite with those around us, and we have done so not just because we care about issues, but also because we need the comfort of friendship and the feeling of belonging.
And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to its knees
I am a someone who lives by the music in my life. I enjoy pop, rap, jazz, opera, Broadway, country, R&B. If I find something I love, it resonates with me and I tend to connect it with a part of my life that I find meaningful. Think about what drives us to connect, to unite, to act with each other. Right now we are doing difficult work that can make us feel stuck, isolated, and angry. Sometimes, it just gives us the need to grieve. We can grieve for a lot of different reasons, but the way we grieve can tell us so much about why we are doing anything. The Disney+ series WandaVision put forward the line: “But what is grief if not love persevering?” It doesn’t have to be about the loss of a person, or the loss of ourselves. We can suffer loss and grieve an idea, a state, a place, when we have homesickness, or we feel out of place with the world. Haven’t we all felt some of that recently?
I’ve found myself listening to some Broadway soundtracks and film musical soundtracks I love. Some get me and help me and focus me on what matters.
I have a father, he isn’t well
Thinks he might be going to hell
He was a sinner, he liked to fight
So I don’t know, he might be right
I can see him every Sunday morning
Diving into the fray
He wasn’t one of God’s best men
But I loved him anyway
So take this letter to him, please
Tell him I can’t wait to see him
I went in first, I rang the bell
I called his name out loud and I gave ’em hell
So tell him not to cry at all
Heaven is wherever I fall
It is hard. Every day. Admit it to yourself and you will feel better. It is difficult to say, “I need help. I need to reach out to someone and say that I don’t feel good. I need someone to say that they are with right here with me.”
If you can’t admit to yourself that you can get burned out, then you are going to find yourself burned out. Acknowledge your limits. Build in time to understand how you feel. Embrace the fact we all have weaknesses, loves, and desires. Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is acknowledge we need a pep talk. We need encouragement. We need friends around us to push us, but we also need friends who can say, “Take a rest. Take a break and come back refreshed.” I find it through mindfulness, rest, a nap when I’m struggling the hardest. Be kind to yourself. You only have one life. You will help people around you the most when your kindness to yourself is passed forward. I do it through meditation or singing along to a song I love, but whatever works for you, take that time.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. Be kind to yourself. Your mind and body deserve it.
Are you ready to join us on May 20 at 4PM PST/7PM EST for the Daily Kos Virtual Cheers & Jeers gathering? Just let me know and I can send you an invite! Send a Kosmail and we’ll welcome you right in!