I’ve been working on this post on and off for a while. That doesn’t mean the writing will be better than any other, or more profound. It’s been completely deleted a handful of times.
It’s the timing that’s been difficult to nail down.
There are other bloggers who are very good at sharing their difficulties. They use self-deprecating humor, or give us knowledge we can use to make our lives better. I want to learn how they do such a good job presenting and dealing with problems. I want to write in that way. So, this piece is my testing ground. Please forgive the sloppy rambling, confusing parts.
I didn’t share it earlier because everyone was already going through so much with a world-wide pandemic.
There were other times, when I was blissfully happy. Any grandparent can tell you there’s so much fun and love and joy to be had with those adorable grandbabies. I didn’t want to look at any sadness. I don’t want people to associate me with the hurting parts of life. I’d like to be viewed as strong, capable, and a hopeful, hard worker who makes good things happen.
Like many others, I like sharing the ups, not so much the downs.
I’m extremely grateful when others share their tips, ideas, and suggestions on how to deal with all the physical, mental, emotional anguish that plagues us all in some way or another.
Often, we keep our challenging stories to ourselves. We showcase our best and happiest because that’s how we want to feel – happy. We tend to avoid anyone who shares too many of their hard-times. When maybe all they/we want is to feel understood. Maybe all they/we want to know that there is a path through and out of the challenges.
As a grandma, I never want my grandbabies to feel like whatever they’re going through is insurmountable. I want them to know they have people they can trust to share their stories with. I want them to know, I and many other people love them and will do whatever we can to help them find the strength to face this wild ride called life. I want to encourage them to keep looking for the good. And I want them to know we’ve all went through the bad and here’s how we handled it. Maybe our experiences will help them find their way.
The fact is, all lives hold challenges and triumphs. To focus on only one side of the coin does none of us any good. The world would be a better place if more people were open about their struggles, how they handled those times, and what led to their triumphs. How did they do that? I sincerely want to know.
I find it puzzling that the highs and lows of life are treated as if they are things in need of medication. When instead we should be teaching each other, and most importantly learning from each other. We should know life is full of highs and lows and it’s natural to love deeply, to be blissfully happy, and later, to be flooded with sorrow, or feel indifference. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched by the best and worst of life. Why shouldn’t our emotions reflect this?
*Perhaps I should place a ‘trigger warning’ here. Other blog posts contain these when discussing difficult topics. I don’t know the proper protocol.
Personally, I know crushing loss, heartache, heart attack, and chronic pain. I know injustice, brutality, inequality, betrayal, and abandonment. I’ve witnessed the breakdown of ‘systems’ meant to educate people, to heal people, to protect people, and to keep families together. I know poverty, hunger, and homelessness.
False statements like the following make me grind my teeth – poor people choose poverty, sick people choose sickness… These are Lies perpetrated by liars.
No one chooses to be less. Over the past bunch of years, I’ve seen people die from things they did not choose. My aunt was shot to death in front of her 2 small children on a cold January day when she was only 24; she did not choose that. My sister died of brain cancer at Eastertime; she did not choose that. My stepdad died of cancer on Christmas Eve; he did not choose that. These happened years ago, but something happening today can bring up a memory and moments of sadness.
I nearly choke every time I think about this following nonchoice – My own precious sweet boy, my only child, my Sunshine in human form, nearly died in an accident with a semi-truck on his way home from his Fiber Optics job. He did not choose that life-altering pain, nor did he choose the Titanium leg. Thankfully he was wearing his seatbelt. Thankfully a Superhero appeared and yanked the driver’s door off, to pull my son’s unconscious body from his burning vehicle. And thankfully an ambulance ‘happened’ to be traveling the same direction. If not for all these things, he…
Bravely, he chose healing and moving forward, on his own terms.
We’re so eager to share our joy. But there never seems to be a ‘good time’ to talk about what hurts.
I remember years ago, my husband was hired for an awesome new job. We bought our first home! Life was exciting and Everything seemed perfect. Then the company he worked for was bought by another company. People were laid off to reduce redundancy. My husband lost his new job. One of his coworkers lost his job, went home, and committed murder/suicide. My husband struggled to tell me these things. I can’t even describe all the many deep emotions his face and eyes reflected. I was devastated for the other family. All I could do was pull my husband close and be so thankful we still had each other. I wasn’t worried about our future or the loss of any material things, like our new home. As long as we had our family together, we could handle whatever come what may. I picked up another job. Over time, things worked out for us.
Most of us do our best no matter our burdens. We push onward in whatever way we can. We cry silently in the shower, so the tears don’t spill over the rest of our day – this new day that we’re determined to enjoy. Because as we process the loss, the diagnosis, the devastation; there is still goodness, there’s still love, and life to be lived.
The most gracious thing we can do for each other is remember: just because we carry a smile, doesn’t mean life isn’t heavy!