The lesson I learned…
Compare your problems with those of others and determine that yours are not worth attention or even existence.
There is always going to be someone who has it worse than you. People face severe illnesses, crippling addictions, violence, a life without any of the necessary comforts, on and on.
That doesn’t mean your pain does not deserve compassion, space, time, and attention.
Because I didn’t feel entitled to have problems, I ignored them.
More like, forgot them.
I developed amnesia.
I've lost the periods of time surrounding difficult experiences in my life.
I know I felt pain. The circumstances required it. The fallout says it was so. The after-effects promise it's true.
I just don’t remember anything.
Some might think that a blessing, but the pain didn't leave me; it just resided in the hidden recesses of my mind and soul.
Was I considerate of others?
Did I take care of my people going through the same pain?
I fear I didn’t.
Another price paid.
Did I take care of myself?
How did it change me as a person? Did I see the alterations that significant life events cause?
I have no idea.
All I know is I didn’t deal with the events and the subsequent pain and discomfort.
I shut it all down.
Because I didn’t feel worthy of it.
Because somewhere, someone had it worse than I did.
Who am I to complain about my problems? Didn’t I know how lucky I was?
Overcoming the lesson…
I started paying attention to my discomfort and my pain.
I accept, now, that I have endured heaviness.
Maybe not the heaviness of some,
but a heaviness that I should have given myself grace for.
That I now give myself grace for.
When you find yourself questioning whether you should be “complaining” about what you’re going through, please stop.
Acknowledge that you are facing something difficult.
Process your feelings.
Treat yourself as you would a dear friend.
Accept your hardship as a reality that requires attention.
Work through your difficulty, your pain, your discomfort.
So that you can make peace with it and then move forward.
It's all part of the crucial responsibility of taking care of yourself and loving yourself.
Don’t minimize your hardships.
Whatever you are going through is valid.
If it’s causing you distress, it’s important.
You are important.
And if you give yourself grace when you are struggling, you might be more willing to give someone else grace in their time of need. The world needs a little more of that.
Until next time…