I was in the hospital waiting room earlier watching the news as (current) Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would tender his resignation to the Palace on Wednesday and be gone by that evening in place for Theresa May. It’s very easy to say the UK has fallen apart at the seams over the past three or so weeks, one headline becomes outdated within minutes by another huge political fallout as someone else resigns or doesn’t in some cases. But what interested me as Cameron hummed his way back into Number 10 was the room full of people who were sat with their heads in the clouds, oblivious to the major political events taking place, they were tuned out from the nuclear bomb happening in Parliament and clearly engrossed in their own lives. And that’s what is easy to forget, the individual behind the name, the personality behind the face, the soul behind the signature.
In that split second it hit me, whilst sitting in a vulnerable place (the Pharmacy waiting room) people were filled with anguish, fear, sorrow and uncertainty. One person may have just had the worst news of their life, another may be dealing with immense physical and mental trauma whilst another is debating on what they feel their future holds. I myself was coming out of a unsettling experience, where more questions weren’t answered because, well there were no answers. But instead of feeling alone and overwhelmed, I suddenly felt surrounded and somewhat at ease that it wasn’t just me and my family that were in some way suffering with something.
We can sit and stare at the news or read every article in the paper but the obvious fact is, no statistic or opinion can define how the world impacts an individual. It’s personal to us, each of us contained in our own bubble with our own dealings, our own thoughts, our own journey and our own intricate set of ideals. It was at this moment that I realised just how vast life can be, a thought that can easily decline into an existential crisis if thought about too deeply.
A few nights ago I sat outside as the last slither of sunset fell upon the landscape, there were the most beautiful storm clouds rolling in and a calm gentle breeze that whistled through the grass blades. I couldn’t help but sit among it, to close my eyes and feel the peace and tranquility that silence can bring, of what those little moments can do to help heal a broken spirit. We all spend so much time worrying or fretting about what comes next, that we forget to observe others, we forget to digest the simplicity of what is around us that can easily put these anxieties to rest.
I guess, what I’m trying to say is that maybe we should step outside our bubbles. They aren’t always the safest place to be, they become constricting and can bring damage to our day to day life as we become wound round the dramas that are trivial, or the pain that is out of our control. We need to remember the sensation of content, the feel of how assuring it feels to be a part of a bigger picture and to not feel alone in the struggle. By talking to a stranger, or using our spare time to connect with those around us, our neighbours, colleagues and friends we remember that we aren’t alone in our world; everyone’s bubble space is precious to them, but can also become harmful and lonely.
So that’s my recommendation to you. Tonight, as the last of the sun slips below the horizon, step outside. Sit on a blanket, a rug or a cushion and just listen to what’s around you. It could be that cool breeze, it could be the cars passing by or it could be a lamb dancing about in the distance. But breathe it in, remember that sensation and let those fears wash away just for a moment. The next time you feel overwhelmed, close your eyes and remember that simple moment. It could do a lot to help heal a hurting soul. Or maybe next time you spot your neighbor or stand by a person at the bus stop, ask them how they are. That one simple question might be enough to help alleviate any fear they are struggling with. A little kindness and thoughtfulness costs nothing, but it can bring a whole lot to a damaged spirit.