As we get closer and closer to the end of this insane year and into the thick of the holidays, I just wanted to check in and acknowledge the struggle that has been 2020. On one hand, I love an attitude of gratitude, stopping the cycle of negative thoughts, and finding the silver linings. On the other, I think it's important to give ourselves grace and recognize that, no matter who you are and what your specific struggles have been, this year has been a tough one.
One of the most helpful tools we've gotten in marriage counseling is the check-in language, "how's the heavy stuff?". It acknowledges the elephants in the room without bringing them up by name in a way that might be triggering or hurtful. It allows the pain beneath the surface to be seen without it having to claw its way to the top and demand to be dealt with. I love it. Even when I present as calm and totally cool on the outside, chances are my brain is battling a back-and-forth, ping ponging of thoughts ranging from the narratives I've created to the real, painful memories of the past. The question "how's the heavy stuff?" gives me peace and lets me know that it's ok that all of that stuff is there. It's present, it's heavy, and it will still be ok.
So no matter what your heavy stuff is, I hope you're giving yourself the space you need to acknowledge it, work through it, and eventually get to the other side. We'll get there.