Tell Us How You Really Feel

“It’s bold to own your voice.” – Jamie Ridler

“But I can’t say that, can I?”

Of all the questions clients ask, this one’s my favorite. Why? Because it means they know what they want to say about themselves and their businesses. They just need help getting the message out there.

Opening our hearts to the world often feels risky.

It takes courage to be who we are. To say what we think and feel without worrying that we’re going too far. Revealing too much. Shining a light on our weaknesses.

Truth is, when we speak, and write, from the heart, it makes us vulnerable. And that’s a good thing. By being honest, we connect with the vulnerability of those we’re trying to reach. As one human being to another. And there is no connection more powerful or lasting than that.

Sharing our truth during these unsettling days feels riskier than ever. Especially for someone like me, who’s always looking for the silver lining. But it’s also more important than ever to show up. And be real.

Some days, when I don’t leave the house, I forget that things aren’t okay. Especially if it’s sunny, and I can smell lilacs, and hear birds chirping and kids whooping outside.

Other days, it’s surreal. Like I’ve taken up residence somewhere between the life I was living and a life I can’t yet imagine.

I have to steel myself to get out of bed. Get dressed. Focus on work. Be supportive of those who are struggling. Juggle multiple Zoom calls. Run the gauntlet at the grocery store or pharmacy. Where we wear our masks, line up six feet apart, and hand our money to folks barricaded behind plexiglass.

I know I’m incredibly lucky. Blessed to be well. To have work, a home, companionship, plenty of food, places to walk, FaceTime laughs with my granddaughters. My heart aches for those who have been sick, are caring for others, or have lost loved ones to the virus. And for everyone on the front lines – there are no words.

All of this being true – what I want to say today is:

Please. Stop.

Stop saying “Wash your hands.” “Stay home.” “Shop during senior hours.”

Stop posting about where to get toilet paper or hand sanitizer or brownie mix.

Stop with the “due to increased demand” and “no delivery windows available” messages.

Stop listing things we can do now that we have more time on our hands.

Stop the invitations to envision what life will be like three months from now.

Stop reporting new cases and deaths daily.

Stop promising we’ll get through this.

Stop saying we’re all in it together.

Just. Stop. For one minute. And let me catch my breath.