I just saw this poster on Chelsea's blog and I had to repost it. I so truly believe those words. When I think of each person in my immediate family, I know that each of us including my parents have really hard pains and struggles that we each have dealt with since we were young, because of our own flaws, because of being hurt by others, because of family history, because of accidents, experiences that we wish had never happened, problems because of money, and so on and so on. And I believe that by the time people are my age, 25, everyone has been through some sort of trauma or intense heartache in their lives. For some of us, our pains started at a really young age which is the case for me. But because I experienced a lot of trauma at a young age, it made me decide early on to CHOOSE to be thoughtful, kind, and compassionate towards others because I believe that whether others voice it or not, they have probably been through their own experiences that are equally as hard as my own.
I know that for one of my best friends, she just didn't experience any out right trauma or major in your face hardship until the end of college. And when it came, it came in a storm and her life was thrown upside down. It borke my heart to see her have to go through all of this processing that she never had to deal with before, but I am so proud of where she is now and the person she blossomed into, out of her trauma.
The time of life in which you experienced pain and hardship is not what makes you better than another person. Some of us experienced trauma early on in our lives, which is not something to wish upon a person because it can lead us to either the extreme of loving unconditionally or being filled with resentment and anger for most of our lives. There are some things that are just too heavy for a child to battle with. And some of us didn't experience major trauma until later in life which is also not to be wished upon anyone because when life does suddenly hit you with trauma later in life and you have never had to deal with these sorts of pains before as you were growing up, it just turns a person's world inside out and upside down. It is so hard to learn how to cope and find healthy ways of dealing with pains both as a child and as an adult who has just never had to deal with trauma before. It's all hard, and it is all hard for everyone.
No one has it easy, even if you try to predict that someone else's life is easy because they have more money than you or because their parents seem more loving than yours, or they have a better job than you, and so on and so forth. Your predictions and assumptions, as smart as you are, are probably not the reality of other peoples lives. The way I try to project who I think someone is onto someone else is probably not right. We envy and covet ideals and we place those ideals on others, whether the ideal is actual truth or not. And that is just human nature, even though it kind of sucks.
Today let's not try to guess who the person is next to us, the person who sits across from us on the bus, the person in the next cubicle, the person you love, the person you despise. Let's not try to weigh whether our own personal hardships are heavier than theirs. Let us not use competition and jealousy as the driving forces behind our day to day lives and how we interact with others. Let's not let ourselves fall into the ever so easy victim mentality, using it as a means to not be nice to others. Let's instead remind ourselves of the truth that everyone has their own battle/s to fight. Everyone has secrets, personal hardships and pains, traumas of the past and present. Let's focus on the fact that as a COMMUNITY, we have a collective pain that can be eased day to day by choosing to be loving towards others. Today, let's take the time to see beauty in those around us, choosing not to guess who they are, not picking apart the things in others that we don't like, but taking the time to just think, "You know, I respect how patient that person is, and maybe it might be nice to tell them so." or "You know what, she has been really angry lately, maybe she just needs someone to vent to or just needs a hug."
I think a lot of times, we direct hate towards others because we are projecting our own hardships upon them. When I was younger, I felt like I was so awkward and ugly and boring and I was so bitter towards girls who seemed cooler and more confident than me, prettier and more charming, because they appeared to have what I told myself I didn't have. I harbored so many mean and envious thoughts towards them, though I was way to shy to express my thoughts. I wish I could have realized that who they were or even just tried to be on the surface, pretty, charming and out going, probably did not always reflect the person that they were inside. Some of them may have had dark and painful stories that they pushed deep down inside of them. And for those who were truly confident and charming and beautiful, who was I to think negatively of them? Just because they had great qualities in them didn't mean I was justified in hating them because I felt badly about myself. In the end, it was just me hating myself and projecting my hate on others. How often do we still do this as adults? I fear it is way too often.
Let's take today to just give everyone AND ourselves a break from being hated on. Love your story, even in all of its flaws. I think that by seeking to love ourselves fully, even with all of our baggage and trauma history, we are not only giving ourselves a break but opening up room to love others more as well. Let yourself be compassionate to yourself and to others. Remember we all have hurts and we are all justified in feeling sad and in pain sometimes. But we also ALWAYS have the choice to rise above our own hurts to love ourselves and love others. How will you show love to yourself and to others today? I hope that this inspires you and encourages you to find positivity and compassion in your life on a day to day basis. You are worthy of it, no matter what. And it is important to remember than those around you are just as worthy of love and compassion as well. <3