Isaac reached across the table, and without saying a word, placed his hand on top of mine.
I had been having an especially rough day, during which, for a multitude of reasons, I was in an emotionally heightened state. I do my best to communicate when I’m in moods like these, asking for space and compassion, and preempting any sensitive reactions. The thing is, it’s totally okay to be in a funk; it’s not okay to take it out on other people.
On this particular day I found myself in a funk of colossal proportions. I was easily moved to tears, and wanted nothing other than to watch reruns of Grey’s Anatomy in my sweats. In an effort to cheer me up, my family suggested we go out for BBQ, hitting up our favorite spot here in Venice Beach.
We sat at the table, my muted melancholy filling all of the empty spaces. My 9 year old son, Isaac, quietly reached his hand across the table, softly grasped my hand, and in his eyes there was a depth of compassion you wouldn’t expect from someone at this age. His face said simply, “I’ve got you, Mom.”
In that moment I softened so completely. Sometimes I feel as though I’m simultaneously wound up and unraveling, but in that moment, when Isaac reached across the table, I felt seamlessly whole.
Every one of us, whether we are living wholeheartedly or barely holding it together, needs that hand from time to time. We need that space. That compassion. That comfort. We need to feel as though we aren’t alone in the world, and that we are worthy of love and belonging. I hope that you have someone in your life who can hold that space for you, and if not, please know that I am here, reaching my hand across the table.
At times, we need to be that hand, too. We need to hold that space. We need to reach across the table, and say, with words or with touch, “I’ve got you.”
If we can do that–if we can accept the hand, and sometimes be the hand, I believe we can stand firmly in the fullness of our being. We can be better humans, one hand at a time.