Oh my gosh. Last week on Halloween morning, we (I say we, but I wasn’t even in the car) had the scariest “trick” while Mark was driving Bazooka to daycare.
Yep, that’s a completely shattered rear passenger window—right next to where my son sits in his car seat.
The car’s already fixed and everybody is OK (Bazooka wasn’t rattled at all—he didn’t even seem to notice until Mark exclaimed his shock at the sight), but we’re still trying to figure out what the heck happened to cause that (rock, some other debris, a pellet gun?!!!).
You know me, after I got over the initial worry—is my son walking around with a pellet lodged in his little body?!!—I discovered that shattered tempered glass is a really potent metaphor for life.
Are you shatterproof?
I’m actively trying to be more compassionate with myself. I think my overwhelming empathy for others and a lack of compassion for myself are a huge source of my anxiety and struggles.
I feel that, because I have such rock-solid support system and a pretty sweet, hardship-free life, I have no reason to feel sad or unfulfilled…ever. Which, of course, leads to me feeling sad and unfulfilled pretty frequently.
Enter: self-compassion, and the realization that in order to be shatterproof, we all need to be like tempered glass.
No matter how “comfortable” or “privileged” we are in life, there will be rocks thrown at us, pellets shot at us, frigid temperatures surrounding us, and a host of other challenging—and possibly traumatizing—things that we encounter.
We will hurt, we will be afraid, we will be lonely, and we will feel overcome with anger—but we must not shatter into a million pieces.
We must not allow the shards to break away and harm ourselves and others.
So how do we do that?
With our support systems. Our positive coping mechanisms. And our ability to identify our feelings, take ownership of them, and separate thoughts from realities.
If we nurture ourselves, and reach out to our communities and loved ones to strengthen us, we will become less likely to shatter when life throws something hard at us.
My “tempering” looks a lot like this:
Practicing gratitude daily
Daily walks and meditation
Appointments with my therapist
Friends whom I can vent with and confide in
A solid support system in my family
Ample time for laughter and play with my son
And an ever-evolving compassion for myself and the negative thoughts that arise
But even with all of these in place, I will hurt.
I will crack. I may full well break in a million pieces like that passenger side window because none of us is unbreakable.
And yet, when we are tempered, we can be mended and refitted into our bodies. We can be mindful of the breaks and not allow our edges to harm because we are stronger than un-tempered glass. And we can overcome and shine even clearer and brighter than we did before the break.Here’s why we need to be like tempered glass #selfcompassion #shatterproof Click To Tweet
So tell me…
- Have you ever experienced a scary situation while driving?
- In what ways are you “tempering your glass?”