Numerous people have described life as a journey with the ‘get up and go somewhere’ being more important than the ‘final destination’. If this adventure to the unknown were a packaged holiday you’d certainly send a postcard or two along the way. But how many of us take time to actually send a postcard’ from where we are, right now, in our daily lives?
Sending a postcard to someone saying, ‘Wish You Were Here’ or ‘Wish I Wasn’t’ is a fabulous reminder to ourselves of the richness of our lives and our ability to be human. Many of us restrain from sharing our full emotions of despair and elation with others for fear of inappropriateness, bad timing, selfishness or other gremlin* speak. Yet by holding back about where we are we right now, we are in fact avoiding sharing with others our complete story of us. In some ways, the real picture of our postcard. Just think, we share the highlights and lowlights of our annual holiday on the back of a postcard, but we don’t always share the memorable sights and experiences of our daily lives. So what part of you and your personal journey are your friends, colleagues or loved ones missing out on?
A previous coach reminded me of the value of sending a postcard from destination ‘here’. I remember a time that one request took me back to a particular period in my life when my journey was more like a one-woman’s trek across the Sahara; very lonely and desolate. On reflection, I realised that I was uncomfortably familiar with the story of this barren landscape and that over the years the only changes to the scene was in fact the landscape. Yet this memory also reminded me of what you can achieve when you do break your silence. At that time, I decided to break the silence and sent a virtual postcode to a dear friend by pouring out my fears, sense of loneliness and my inability to cope. What I hadn’t expected was that in return I found myself overwhelmed with affirmations of love, support and understanding which gave me the courage to carry on and find my way out. Moreover, it enabled our friendship to grow to a deeper level of trust and support.
This trip back in time highlighted for me that at times I can fall into an old habit of ‘doing it alone’, in other words to suffer and to shine in silence. Even with my experience of being coached and coaching others I sometimes forget to share my life experience along the way. If I had not ‘sent a postcard’ to my friend all those years ago I wouldn’t have the richness of friendship I experience today. So, if like me, you have to stop and think about which connections you are not making and what areas of your life you are hiding from others, then, it may be time to send a postcard to someone from destination here.
*Gremlins are a coaching term for our inner critics, the voices we hear and the conversations that stop us from moving forward.