13 Mar Slice of Life: Never Worry Alone #SOL18
Our principal was sharing his thoughts about recent events and his response to our students during our school council meeting. It is so difficult. Shifting my elementary perspective to high school is not easy. On the one hand, no one wants to cause unnecessary worry or stress for students, but as high schoolers they are fully aware of recent events and cannot be told to not worry. They have a right to worry. They have due cause to worry. So, what can be said to them?
His message was to never worry alone.
I have been thinking about these three words ever since. Never worry alone. I sketched them during a meeting. I focused on them during a run. I placed them on the “possible topics” stickie on my computer desktop. I was not sure what I wanted to do with them and honestly, I am still not sure as I type this post. But I continue to repeat them to myself – never worry alone.
There are many messages in these words. First and foremost, they validate the emotion. Rather than saying why worry or don’t worry, these words accept the emotion that is being experienced and is open to this emotion.
These words suggest that one should take action with this emotion. If you are worried, you should tell someone. It does nothing to let an emotion fester and eat away at you. If something feels worrisome it is worrisome to you, so do something about it. There is power in action. So, when we act on our worry we are exerting our power over it.
These words suggest that there is someone who cares. Even if you think you have no one to turn to or if you think it may be no big deal – tell someone. Share your worry with another person.
These words also suggest that the other person will share the worry with you – not dismiss it or judge it.
I am a worrier. I have been told countless times throughout my life not to worry. This response is not helpful in any way. If you are worried, you are worried. You can’t just “unworry.” You can work through it, put it in perspective, or have it consume you. You can’t just wish it away. These words suggest you need to take a step to understand and work through it. Sharing your worry allows you to hear another person’s perspective. Sharing your worry releases some of the burden. Sharing your worry puts you in control of it.
I think these words apply to so many situations in life. The wisdom in these words is truly invaluable. What a better world this would be if we taught kids to never worry alone? These words may even prevent some of the tragedies happening in our country. How would things change if every child believed someone cared about their worry? How would things change if every child felt validated? How would things change if every child believed their feelings matter? How would things change if we created space for every child to feel their point of view was understood?
Never worry alone.
I plan to carry these words with me and to share them with every child I encounter in one way or another.
Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year