I can do it.
Does that sound familiar?
“I can do it.”
“I’ve got this.”
“I can handle it.”
“I’ve got it covered.”
The truth is, we’re lying.
If you’re like me, we mostly feel like we can’t do it, don’t have it, can’t handle it, and don’t have it covered.
To be honest, we’re just trying to make it through!
Does anyone want to join me in apologizing right here and right now for pretending?
I know I’m guilty: As an actor, pretending is my job, so I think I got a little carried away.
If you're with me, repeat after me:
“I apologize for pretending that I’m somehow in charge of the events that tumble out of my days and the challenges that rise to meet me when my feet hit the floor.
I am sorry for posting mostly pretty snapshots of the rare occasions when I have created the illusion of having it all together, and I am sorry if it made you feel like you somehow aren’t doing life right by posting pretty things instead of raw ones.
And I am so sorry if I fooled you into thinking I don’t need you.”
Even though many of us would like to, we can’t do this living thing by ourselves, unless we’re simply interested in surviving, not true living.
In college, it became clear to me that people who vocally expressed their needs were rallied around. They were held up when they couldn’t stand up, encouraged when they forgot how to smile, and checked on faithfully. As they should have been.
But what about the ones of us who were too afraid to be in the way? The ones who were terrified of being “needy,” or “being a downer?”
We wandered around with “SOS” blaring from our eye sockets, silently begging and daring someone, anyone, to see our true need.
And so I unwittingly played the martyr, and maybe you did, too; which is a dangerous game indeed, leading us into the treacherous “I can do everything.”
But I am declaring that this play is done. The curtain is closing and my mask is coming off.
It was my fault you didn’t know.
It was my fear, my lack of recognition of my worth, my underestimating of your caring character.
Do me the honor of letting me be messy with you:
I CAN’T DO IT BY MYSELF.
Who’s with me?
As deeply as I may wish, the world is not stacked with mind-readers.
Next time we feel overwhelmed, let'stell someone. Let's tell our home team, our family. Let's give them a chance to be on our side. To be our cheerleaders, our listeners, our back-up squad.
Isn’t that what you would want? Doesn’t it break your heart when someone you care about goes through a tempestuous trial and doesn’t confide in you?
So, in one imaginary, blaring Hallelujah chorus, let’s sing together, and hear the armor fall away and clatter to the ground. However, its raucous crash will be deafened by our cry of victory:
WE CAN’T DO IT BY OURSELVES.
WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER.
Through our weakness, we can be strengthened by others.