When we were five, our moms and dads held our sweaty little hands as we loaded up onto huge, noisy school buses for the very first time in our young lives.
We were terrified.
They followed those school buses all the way to our new elementary schools, and watched to make sure we didn't get trampled by an over-zealous 4th grader getting off that huge, noisy bus.
They escorted us into our classrooms to meet our new teachers, hugged us tightly and promised we would be safe all day long.
They even put little notes in our lunch boxes, so we'd have a mid-day reminder that we were loved, and safe and that everything was going to be great.
(And you know what? After we pushed through that initial terror? Everything WAS great. Seriously great.)
So here's the thing...
We are not five anymore.
As such, most of us no longer have a big person serving as our guide and our refuge every time life becomes terrifying.
Some people manage this incredibly well. They muster internal strength and self-care, and shepherd themselves through terrifying stretches of life in grand style.
Others fall to pieces.
They fall to pieces because, lacking someone to hold their little hands and slip little "You're totally going to be fine" notes into their lunch boxes, they become quite convinced that they will not be fine.
And this can be a downward spiral, to say the least.
If you feel like this sometimes. Hell, if you feel like this today?
Please take a moment and realize that we are all terrified sometimes. Even the people around you that you assume have the world by the tail. They're terrified, too. Maybe about some of the same things you are.
Realize this and, if you need to, mourn the fact that we have to be big people now. And that's sometimes not so much fun.
And then do everything in your power to be your own refuge.
You. Are your refuge.
And you have everything it takes to get yourself on a big, noisy school bus full of strangers and succeed.
(And once you do? You'll feel pretty damned proud of yourself.)