“Hi, how are you?”
“Oh fine. Living the dream. You?”
“Same. Time flies, doesn’t it?’
“Sure does. Your kids?”
“Doing well, thanks. And yours?
“All good. Yep. Thanks.”
“Well, have a good one!”
“Yeah, you too.”
Such an exchange is the typical walk-by conversation we often have when scurrying about our day. Trading niceties and pretending all is well in our personal universe.
Let’s face it, being a mom is exhausting and hard and time consuming and unnerving. Don’t even throw life itself into the mix. Even though the joys far outweigh the trials for most of us, who has time to answer the simple question, “How are you?” with actual transparency?
Seems as if we’ve come to a universal acceptance that nobody wants to know how we "really" are. By default, we become participants in a charade game, masking our pain in worldly proportion.
But what if we chose to be authentic? Do you think we might help one another heal? Encourage each other to carry on? Inspire one another to make a change? Actually help another human being feel seen, heard, loved?
We’ll never know until we try. And we can start by being the listener. When we see a family member, friend, fellow mom, even a stranger for heaven’s sake, let’s ask "how are you?" and mean it.
How can I pray for you? How are you feeling, really? What’s going on in your world, good and bad? What’s your greatest struggle right now? What’s your greatest joy?
I’m convinced such a compassionate approach will change the world. And God knows our world is in a heap of hurt these days for reasons too long to list. Just knowing someone gives a hoot about us is a wonder drug of epic nirvana-ness.
And maybe we’d all stop turning to our Cabernets and goose a ‘la grey as our trusted friends. Stop running self-sabotaging scripts of hopelessness between our ears. Turn the TV off. Shut down our smart phone for a while.
The opportunities for building relationships—finding strength, hope, healing, belonging in togetherness—are a dime a dozen, and yet we take human connection for granted. Dismiss real-life conversations filled with depth, authenticity, and rawness for mindless quips, as if fakeness is a form of bliss.
What’s wrong with us?
We’re tired. We’re burned out. We don’t even have the energy for honesty. We’re afraid.
And this needs to change.
Because our unresolved and buried pain becomes a misplaced disaster when we shoot bullets of rage, disdain, mistrust, at every annoyance and injustice around us. Painfilled people attacking painfilled people causes disconnect and division the likes of which our world (has never) is now seeing.
What can we do as fellow moms to make a difference?
Let’s love each other.
Take the time to reach out with an open heart.
Remove our veils first so the other person sees a safe respite to remove theirs.
Walk the walk of the greatest peacemaker and healer of all time. The guy who kicked up dust off His sandals 2000 years ago while trekking miles and miles and miles to minister and love others.
He didn’t take, “I’m fine,” for an answer.
He pressed…in love.
He leaned in…in mercy.
He consoled…with Grace.
He delivered…with compassion.
Never mind His mind reading superpower. We may not be clairvoyants, but we can read body language. See the eye bags, slumped shoulders, furled brows. And that’s just when we look in the mirror.
Imagine what will come into focus when we fix our eyes on others.
With intent. With purpose. With love.
With the eyes of Christ.
Let’s do this.