“You’re muted. You need to unmute yourself.”
Many of us have by now had so many Zoom meetings that we expect to hear certain phrases every time. “Can you hear me?” Can you see me yet?”
Some of us need to unmute ourselves and talk. It’s good to talk. Being heard and being seen play a huge part in our well-being.
We often say that “sorry” is the hardest word. “Help” is probably about as hard.
The Bible beautifully tells us that God hears us and sees us and that we’re free to pour out our hearts to Him (Psalm 62:8).
It’s truly amazing that the creator of the universe, our heavenly Father, likes to listen to us and that we can be so honest. So let’s make the most of it.
We’re also given friends we can talk to and Christian community where we can be real, bear one another’s burdens, listen to and pray for each other.
Many of us have lacked human interaction over the last several months. If we’re honest though, some of us weren’t making the most of our relationships before COVID-19.
Men especially aren’t known for talking about how we’re really doing. We hide our struggles, our wounds or our limps. We often say that “sorry” is the hardest word. “Help” is probably about as hard.
Asking for help is sometimes the bravest thing we can do. I’ve found that honesty breeds honesty. If one of us is brave enough, it helps unmute the rest of us.
Having people we can be honest with needs to be a major part our mental health toolkit. How helpful it would be if we all were the kind of person with whom people feel able to say “help” – with whom they can unmute and be real.
Over the years I’ve seen how unprocessed grief, loss, trauma and disappointment seriously impacts our emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
I’ve learned the hard way the toll of not processing and debriefing stuff along the way but holding it in. We weren’t designed to live without an outlet for our emotions. We weren’t made to be muted.
Of course we don’t have to tell everyone everything. We don’t broadcast all our emotions and inner life to just anyone. But someone. Or a select few.
Honesty breeds honesty. If one of us is brave enough, it helps unmute the rest of us.
Some of us need to talk to a trained counsellor or psychologist. Do it. Make the call. Counselling is for all kinds of people. Don’t let shame stop you getting the help you need.
I have found it helpful at a couple of points in my life to have counselling and debriefing. We head for the doctor for all other ailments; let it be normal to act for the sake of our mental health too.
We’ve come a long way in talking openly about mental health over the past few years but let’s keep working at it so that none of us live life muting all the tough bits and pretending everything’s okay if it isn’t.
- It’s 2am and you need help. Who do you call?
- Tell this person that they were the ones who came to mind. Thank them for being in your life.
- Make a commitment to provide help to each other as needed.