So, pain. It’s relative. I mean, everything is, but for some reason when someone is going through a lot, our tendency is to say stuff like, “Hey well, at least you have your health!” Or, “It’ll get better, just be grateful it’s not worse”, things like that.
This is…kinda shitty. Yes, thank you for reminding me I have both arms. Yes, I know the world doesn’t revolve around my pain, I know I’m not unique in that, I know.
What would be more productive, though, is acknowledging the fact that people experience all different levels and all different kinds of hardship.
Someone has a falling out with a friend? Their feelings are valid. Someone else loses a pet? Those feelings are valid, too, and no one gets to decide how long or short any kind of grieving period is. We as people love solutions. Cut and dry ways to “fix” things, but that’s just not how humans work. You can only get so far with that kind of problem solving, which is why I love and hate self help books.
I love them, because there are so many kinds for so many people. I also hate them because, more often than not, they’re prescribed as a kind of “fix-all”, like those all-in-one cold medicines. “Cures all symptoms. Fast relief!” Like, sure, my nose is clear, but I’ve also been staring at this wall for the last twenty minutes wondering what flavor Pepsi is.
Figuring yourself out is…never ending. People are different, and there is no single solution for hard times. It’s trial and error, and something that worked last time might not work for whatever you’re going through now.
Something I heard from a lady earlier tonight really stuck with me, though, and (at least for now) her advice has changed my perspective in my own troubles.
It’s basically that, when you’re saddled with a lot of pain, and you find yourself asking “why”, hoping, praying for better circumstances or some kind of change, it’s better to look at yourself.
Most of the time we don’t have a choice over what goes on in our lives, and that can be really devastating, that lack of control. So her thing was, “there’s a reason for everything”.
Okay, alright, I can feel the eye rolls. Just hold on, geez!
There’s a reason for everything, and sometimes the thing you need to focus on changing is not actually the circumstances, but you. All suffering is not in vain, so since you can rarely change something you don’t like, it only makes sense to focus on improving yourself.
When things are all good, when you’re happy? It’s hard to change. Definitely not impossible, but it’s hard to find motivation. You don’t want to fuck it up by going around making tweaks to yourself and whatever. You want to enjoy the happiness you have.
So once you’re thrown into chaos, your heart kind of clenches up and (I know I personally do this) you throw a pity party for yourself. That does just about nothing, though. By all means, be sad. Pain is relative, remember, but once you start looking for solutions, maybe look to yourself first instead of your situation.
And, obviously, if your situation is that you’re choking in a restaurant or something, that’s not the time to be doing any soul searching. Get to a hospital, you maniac, stop writing things down in your Feelings journal.
But yeah so, if things in your life are out of control, and you feel like nothing matters, you’re right!
Okay, kidding, sorry. Two jokes in a row. Bad form.
It’s kind of true, though. You don’t have control over how people receive your words, and sometimes you don’t have any way to fix things going on in your life. The only thing you really have control over is you.
You decide how you receive pain and what you’re going to do with it. Take advantage of whatever shit has been thrown your way and use it to become a truer version of yourself! It probably won’t change your situation(s), but at least you’ll know yourself a little better.
Obviously, this is a universal solution, being able to change yourself through pain, so you’re welcome for this discovery of mine.
What?? Are you seriously going to just accept that after everything I said? God. You need more help than I do. Fortunately, I know of a self help book that did wonders for a friend of mine I can recommend to you…