I see you.

On the surface, you look like everyone else. You blend in. Your appearance and persona is nothing unusual. Not for you. No one would ever know your story because you keep it to yourself. It is none of their business, after all, and they wouldn’t understand anyway.

But there is pain underneath that appearance. Discomfort. Uncertainty. Just enough of the emotion seeps through that I can see it. I see it in your eyes. I see it in the way you hold your body. Something is not right.

I’ve been there.

I hear you.

You reach out privately because you know there will be an ear. You hope there will be understanding. A light in the sea of darkness. A glimmer of clarity where there seems to be a never-ending swirl of confusion.

Though it is hard, I listen. I listen because others did when I needed an ear. I recognize the pain, the denial, the uncertainty and fear.

I’ve been there.

I feel you.

Your words penetrate me. I feel them in every bone of my body. My chest hurts, and my eyes burn. I re-live my own past experiences. I feel angry and sad. I know. And I can’t do a thing about it but listen and absorb.

I share my experience and though our stories are different, we are the same at that very moment. We are one. I may be farther along, but don’t let that fool you. It is easy to fall back into that hole.

I’ve been there.

We’ve all been there. As mothers, as daughters, as wives, as women. The drive to make good and keep peace can be our downfall.

But keeping the peace isn’t always the answer. It can numb us when we really need to feel. If we wait too long our hurt hits us like a ton of bricks. We become angry. And that is when change needs to occur.

The problem is that change is hard and scary and there is no guarantee what the future will hold. So you must let go and trust that you are strong enough to make the change and heal the pain.

It’s a process. One that is unique to everyone who is brave enough to go through it. Like a roller coaster ride, it is fraught with emotion. There are dips and turns and periods of anxiety and fear of what is coming next. The exhilaration and satisfaction at the end, however, is worth the ride.

We owe it to ourselves, to our children, to make that change. Whatever it is.

I see you.

You are not alone.

Does this post resonate with you?

This is an original post written by Jennifer Iacovelli for World Moms Blog.

Jennifer Iacovelli

Jennifer Iacovelli is a writer, speaker and nonprofit professional. Based in Brunswick, Maine, she’s a proud single mom of two boys and one Siberian husky.  Jennifer is the author of the Another Jennifer blog and creator of the Simple Giving Lab. Jennifer is also a contributing author of the book The Mother Of All Meltdowns. Her work has been featured on GOODBlogHerUSAID ImpactFeed the Future and the PSI Impact blog. Her latest book, Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day, is available everywhere. Her passions are writing, philanthropy, her awesome kids and bacon, though not necessarily in that order.

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