Please read with caution, as it may bring up your own shit along the way. Sorry, not sorry.
I had a really beautiful vacation in Kauai. The pictures speak for themselves. I absolutely love it there!! It’s one of my happy places where I feel super connected to spirit, the universe and myself. And I loved being there with John. We travel really well together, are always up for an adventure, and laugh a ton.
Ok…here’s the honest and vulnerable part: we’re human. He and I both. We are sensitive. Feel our emotions very deeply and can sometimes get stuck in a spiral of emotions that isn’t always easy to get out of. I’ll say it again. Yes, damnit, we’re human. And these emotions aren’t negative; they’re natural. “Feeling” isn’t a weakness or a problem. Being in a mood doesn’t need a cause. Experiencing sadness or hurt or sensitivity isn’t “feminine” and by default, not “not masculine.” It’s human.
We did an incredible helicopter tour, stopping at the Jurassic Park waterfall, then flew over the entire island. It’s epic!! And…about 10 minutes prior to these smiling pictures of us on the helicopter, we were navigating a difficult conversation in which there were tears, raw emotions and deep communication.
Of course people (yup, me included!) are generally only going to post the smiling pictures. I mean, c’mon, I’m not going to take, let alone post, the tears…at least it wasn’t an ugly cry. Nonetheless, it’s easy to assume that people are only experiencing what they post. And we all know, that’s not true.
The suicides of Kate Spade (my favorite designer!! I won’t even begin to share the amount of Kate Spade items I have!!) and today’s news of Anthony Bourdain, are highlighting that what you see on the outside is never the full story. And again, feelings, emotions, sadness…regardless of the degree…are human. Of course the extremes to which they felt their pain and acted on it is extreme. But the heavy emotions…Yeah, we all have those. The loneliness, the sadness, the feeling we aren’t good enough…dammit, again, it’s a shadow side of being human that hopefully we can shed some non-stigmatizing light on.
I feel very deeply for Kate’s and Anthony’s families; especially their pre-teen daughters. I get it. I know that role well.
I was 10 when my dad commit suicide.
I’ve seen and felt from the inside out the depth and pain that suicide leaves behind. But I never knew the depth of pain my dad felt. I’m not sure anyone did, or could…
I’m sharing this very vulnerable post to bring awareness that we are all like icebergs. What is visible to the naked eye is only a fraction of the depth that exists beneath the surface.
Now here’s the thing…the best thing, actually…is that there are ways – through awareness, support, and very (did I say VERY?!) vulnerable communication – that we don’t have to feel so alone in our emotions. John and I pride ourselves in that we work really hard at allowing whatever is surfacing to exist, and to be there to support (and not judge!) one another through it.
In fact, if you ask John he’ll tell you…one of the reasons he knew he was in love with me was when I told him “I accept all of you. You don’t always have to be in a perfect, happy mood. If you’re sad, that’s ok.” The idea that someone could love and support him, even if he was in a grouchy mood, was novel to him. It’d be novel to most of us actually.
So yes, I had a great vacation. AND, I had some challenging moments. But I talked about them. I didn’t hold them in. I asked for support through them. I’m grateful I have a partner that shares the same values of allowing and accepting; then communicating and letting go. I choose to not carry what’s heavy. I practice being vulnerable. It’s scary as hell, but it’s worth the risk.
I mourn and honor the lives of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Both represent being trend setters, visionaries, being successful AF, leaving behind a huge legacy that will surpass this lifetime. May their memory be a blessing. May their families find peace and healing.
And may all of us feel a little safer to embrace our shadow side and the willingness to be vulnerable and ask for support when need it.