In this series of posts we’ll call ‘Life Hacks’, I’ll share with you all some of the best -and by best I mean most useful- advice I’ve ever gotten!
Apart from my salvation, this represents perhaps one of the most liberating moments of my existence. Decades ago, (man I’m just getting younger by the second 😂) my grandmother said something to me that I will never forget. I was a teenger. We were at my childhood home, she on one sofa, I on the other just chatting and waiting for her ride to come take her home. I didn’t have my license at the time, and I’m not sure if my Grandmother ever drove a day in her life. My grandfather drove her everywhere when he was living; after he passed away, her kids picked up where he left off. So it was just the two of us there when the house phone rang. I answered it without checking the caller ID and the unexpected voice on the other end of the phone was one I hadn’t heard in a while. In an instant, I was triggered as a plethora of negative emotions flooded my veins. I listened to the voice and ended the call pretty quickly. My grandmother, seeing I was upset, began inquiring about who was on the phone trying to determine what caused the change in my countenance. But I was so overwhelmed, it was taking all my energy just to keep myself from breaking down.
I hoped if I could just shove those caustic emotions back to whatever hole they’d crawled out of, I would be okay.
Aware that I was struggling but stubbornly fighting a losing battle to keep it together, she motioned for me to come sit beside her. Then she put her hand on mine and said,
“Sometimes Kheshana, you just have to cry.”
…all the things that I’m sure I didn’t possess the vocabulary at the time to verbalize, came pouring out of me in the form of tears and she held me as I sobbed. She didn’t try to reason with me or solve my problems or tell me everything was okay, she simply let me cry, which I did unashamed, unapologetically until I felt like I’d run out of tears. When I could speak, she was right there to talk things through with me.
In that moment, she gave me permission to be vulnerable. She taught me that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. The lesson wasn’t so much that I don’t have to be strong all the time as I felt or often feel I do; it was rather that we can gain strength through acknowledging our vulnerability -acknowledge when something within is awry.
Whether you’re sitting in the car before going in the house, or
Going to an empty stall on your lunch break, or
In your prayer closet or
Laying in bed
Sometimes you just have to cry.