I’m not the best at taking my pain and frustration with stride. When I’m overwhelmed with something, I let it consume me. And it takes a lot of effort to get grounded in the truth sometimes. You know what I mean? It sounds so selfishly focused (and it honestly is) but I get so wrapped up in my own pain sometimes that I forget that other people are struggling. I focus so much on what I’m feeling, what I need, that I don’t think of anyone else.
But we all have something we’re battling.
We all have stories, have bad days, have brokenness, have fear.
The other day I had a long phone call with one of my oldest, dearest friends. We shared stories about our significant others, about family, about work. It was such a back-and-forth, such an openness that you can only have with the people closest to you. And it was ironic because for every pain I was carrying, she had something that weighed heavily on her back. For every frustration I expressed, she had one that matched.
It wasn’t the ‘pain Olympics,’ it wasn’t us trying to ‘out-hurt’ one another or compete for who had the most negative stuff going on. It was a realization that we all have things we’re battling.
We all have heaviness, or trauma, or a need for healing that shapes who we are and how we’re getting through.
I talk to people around the world through my business. I have video conversations with all different ages and sexes, nationalities and belief systems—and yet the one, universal tie that holds us together (besides laughter, love, and the ability to smile, of course) is our pain.
We all have something that hurts.
We all have brokenness and shame.
But what if those things aren’t as bad as we make them out to be?
What if the things that hurt, the bruises, the imperfections are actually what makes our story more beautiful?
Maybe it sounds cliché, or maybe it sounds dismissive—neither is my intent—but reminding myself that I’m not alone lifts the weight somehow. Looking outside myself and my frustration and seeing other people who are battling heaviness gives me encouragement. I don’t have to face this alone.
Perhaps the best way to connect with people, to overcome darkness, and to share light is to recognize that everyone has a unique and often difficult journey. And rather than trying to weigh the things we’ve gone through on a comparison scale, we can simply accept that we all come from similar places.
No matter the differences, at the core we’re so connected.
And what a simply wonderful thing.
I’m trying to remember that when people disrespect me to my face, when someone I love lets me down, when the cards don’t go my way. I’m trying to remember this when I feel alone or when I’m so overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life that I can’t believe in better days—I’m okay, we’re all okay.
And maybe these words can meet you where you are and settle in your heart like dust.
We all have something we’re battling; you’re not alone.