‘If you know someone struggling, don’t tell them what they should or shouldn’t be doing; just listen, then validate.’: Woman shares reminder ‘there is no shame in not having it all together’

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“If you know someone is struggling, don’t tell them what they should or shouldn’t be doing; just listen, then validate.

Are you struggling but afraid that you will be judged or not good enough?

So was I.

When I went through a separation, I was scared of public opinion, I wasn’t heard by many, I was told what I should be doing – but not many people just wanted to know how I was or just listened before judging or having an opinion.

But the people who did sure did save me.

Those people were the real MVPs.

We all have a story.

I share mine because it’s important to me that people don’t see me as having it all together or think, ‘She looked so happy on social media, what happened?’

I want people to know when I’m not okay so they can learn how to be there for me as a friend.

I want people to know that they don’t have to feel shame in not having it all together because none of us do.

I want people to know that struggling isn’t a sin or a scarlet letter.

I want people to know that it’s normal to be successful and still not have all of their ducks in a row.

I want people to know that they can reach out to me and that it will always be a safe place.

You won’t get any judgment or gossip from me, sister.

I want people to know that, as a religious individual, I won’t throw the Bible in your face and tell you what scripture says.

Instead, I’ll simply be the hands and feet of God.

I want people to know that I’ll simply love you and sit with you in the yuck and disappointment.

I won’t try to mentor you, counsel you, fix what is wrong…

Instead, we will cry together, and you will know that you have a community and that you aren’t as alone as you feel at this moment.

I want people to know that being imperfect is bravery.

It’s easy to appear like we are living the all-American dream, but it’s brave and beautiful to show vulnerability.

Vulnerability saves lives.

Truth saves lives.

Love saves lives.

If you need someone to sit with you in all the yuck, I’m your girl.

Love your people.

Know that you are loved.

Know that whatever your hard is is not your identity.

Your hard does not make you less valuable.

Your hard does not define YOU.

You are still the amazing mom that posted a picture making cookies with her kids.

You are still the woman smiling in the pictures with her nieces and nephews.

You are still the hard-working man that comes home and loves his family well.

You are still the pastor that speaks from his heart on Sunday mornings.

You are still the popular cheerleader.

Actually, you are still SO much more.

I don’t know what your hard is, but it doesn’t even matter;

I still love you and see you for who you are.

Don’t let the fear of reaching out for help keep you from staying.

Don’t let it keep you captive.

Don’t let it isolate you.

Please stay, please live.”

mom holding her child close hoping he knows she's there for help
Courtesy of Ashleigh Denèe

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashleigh Denèe. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our free email newsletter.

Read more stories from Ashleigh here:

‘Going for a walk is not a crime. Don’t call the cops because your neighbor isn’t doing what you think they should be doing.’: Woman urges ‘we have to be all in this together’

‘I was 6 months pregnant when I said ‘I do.’ I picked a cheap dress, wore borrowed rings, and didn’t have a honeymoon.’: Woman claims wedding was the ‘best day of her life’ because she ‘chose the right man’

‘Where’s my phone?!’ My arms, legs began to shake. I lost my vision. I lay on the bathroom floor, alone, no cellphone.’: Woman says mental illness ‘humbled’ her, reminds us ‘it’s okay to be different’

‘You guys go to the coolest places!’ The comment stopped me in my tracks. I rarely leave the house; I put makeup on once a week, and with 2 toddlers, outings are usually cut short.’: Mom reminds us that ‘no one is living the life they post on social media’

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