You Have Not Seen Me Breathe Through This Time.


I think that judgment is a natural part of life, but it seems that when our world is altered in a strange and chaotic way, and we are full of fear and uncertainty, it is easy to let those judgments go wild without reining them in or questioning them.

The other day a woman responded to one of my FB ads by saying, “Really? Business in this time? Shame on you!”

My immediate gut reaction was to defend and lash back, but I took a breath, and instead went with curiosity. I asked her a question, got more of an attack, and then deleted the comments. I have enough other stuff to deal with than to have to handle criticisms and attacks from strangers on the internet.

All that being said, I have not stood in this woman’s shoes.

You know who else’s shoes I have not stood in?

  • The grocery store clerks who are putting themselves at risk as all of us tread into their stores to buy our necessities and too many rolls of toilet paper.
  • The postal workers and delivery drivers who are working endless hours, and also putting themselves at risk so that we can have our books, gadgets, and other random items. (Do you really need that right now?)
  • The nurses and doctors who are out there choosing between going to work, or getting fired, when they really just want to be home, safe and sound with their families. Many of them didn’t sign up to be this kind of hero.
  • The politicians who never in their wildest dreams imagined having to figure out how to navigate a pandemic, which involves both protecting their people and keeping the economy going at the same time. I frequently say to my husband, “I am glad I don’t have to make the decision on that one.”
  • The small brick and mortar stores that are all closed up right now, crossing their fingers that they have enough savings and/or support to continue to pay their rent, so that they can reopen when this all passes.
  • The now unemployed workers around the world, who don’t have governments stepping in to support them, and have to make serious decisions on how to feed their children.
  • The woman who is now stuck at home with her alcoholic and abusive partner, who is doing more drinking and more abusing, yet she has no where to go for reprieve.
  • And who knows who else?

And you, my dear friend, have not stood in my shoes.

You have not seen me getting up extra early so that I can meditate and journal and cram in a little bit of work before I wake up my children.

You have not seen me following the curriculum for my 3 and 6-year-olds, at the same time, while also supporting their emotional well-being because this is scary for them too.

You have not seen me breathe through the tantrums and breathe through the screaming.

You have not seen me walk away because it is the only way that I can keep my cool.

You have not seen the tears and the urge to take a nap at any hour of the day because sometimes it feels so f–king overwhelming.

You have not seen me exhausted, finally putting my kids to bed, only to sit in front of my own computer, yet again, so that I can keep up only a fraction of what I was doing before.

You have not seen me finally fall off to sleep wondering if I have the capacity to do it all over again tomorrow.

So please, my dear friend, remember that I may not be doing it your way, but I am doing it with my head held relatively high, and with the humility to recognize that this may not be my ultimate best, but it’s pretty f–king great given the circumstances.

Stay home, stay safe, and stay sane.


Theresa Destrebecq is one of those badass women with a whole lot of heart. She’s a champion for women, and loves supporting them to reconnect with their passionate, confident, empowered self, especially in the face of a loss or disruption. She does this mostly through her global book circle, but also with a bit of 1:1 coaching. You can connect with her on her website, through the Emerge book circle, or on Facebook.


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Rebelle Society
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