Verbal Confirmation: You are Enough!

“You did a great job” and “Thank you for your hard work”.  These two phrases have more in common than I thought.  In general, it means that someone, other than myself, recognized the hard work that went into accomplishing something and decided to tell me.  The concept of seeking verbal confirmation is nothing new.  Seeking approval is something that is semi-engrained into our nature. Think back to being a child, whenever I was told “good job” I would continue to do the action that resulted in praise.  Much like a puppy: good boy gets a tail wag, happy eyes, and I do believe a smile.  Seeking the approval from others brings verbal confirmation and outside affirmation to a job well done.

But…

Continue reading

Life as Opaque?

Opaque is defined as “not able to be seen through; not transparent.” Often this term is used to define a style of tight or leggings.  They are not sheer, yet they are not solid.  They are somewhere in the middle.  Just enough to obscure what is beneath it; yet still letting the substance be seen.

In the world today, some have taken to having an opaque sense about them.  With a group of friends, at work, and with family; three different personas arise.  But underneath it all, there is the truth.  I know that I can be guilty of being opaque in life also.  I do not always want what is real to be seen by the world.

Case in point: My father passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.  The morning he passed, I held his hand, told him I loved him and that we will see each otherWedding soon.  Twenty minutes later I was at home brushing my teeth and loading up the car for an all day long hockey tournament.  For 15 hours I was the happy, funny, loving goalie mom.  Inside, my heart was breaking.  The amount of strength it took to keep it together is not something I would ever like to repeat.  15 hours later we were home. I broke the news to my son that his best friend and hero had passed away.  While my son fell apart in my lap, I remained calm and reassuring.  After he was in bed, I finally let myself fall apart. I was a puddle of emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, and a sense of loss that cannot be described in words followed.

To those on the outside looking at me on that day, I was the same.  Inside, I was a mess.  I made the decision to become Opaque for the world.  My son needed me to be strong, my husband was helping on the bench.  He knew, yet we were the only ones.  Instead, why did I not make the decision to become transparent? Even though my pain was real, the support of friends would have helped ease the burden that day.  I would have been allowed to feel the pain, yet knowing I was surrounded by friends would have helped.

My example might not be the best, yet I do feel that it illustrates how many of us do cover up our fears, sadness, and pain. We hide behind masks of happiness, fun, and the general “life is good” feeling.  One thing that I have accepted since his passing is that I am not as strong as I thought.  I need my family and friends. I need to know that it is perfectly acceptable to fall apart. Tears are part of life. The passing of a loved one is never easy.  Yet, it is through the heartache that we learn that we can be transparent, not opaque.  It is fine to allow myself to be me, flawed and imperfect.

My question to you is thus: what would happen if we became more transparent and less opaque?

~J.J.~