I want to start this blog post off with my signature, “I’m so exhausted”… because it’s true. As I’m writing this I’m basically half asleep and half devouring my coffee. It’s truly a complex juxtaposition.
That all being said, enough of the small talk. You’re here to read, because I’ve been slacking for a bit now. Well, drum roll please….
The wait is finally over!
Let’s jump right in and talk about challenges in life;
There is not one of us that can say that we live a problem free life, and if someone does please let me know how you do it, and share your secrets. I have thought a lot about this particular topic and how nuanced it is. It’s not cut and dry, nor black and white, it needs to be looked at individually.
We all wake up in the morning and have our entire day to face. Some people pull off the “I’m managing life well” vibe much better than others (ie. Me). So, let’s open up this topic; I’ve spoken before about comparing one’s self to others, and I wanted to pull that into the everyday trials we face, as well as the not so everyday trials that we face.
When it comes to comparing myself to others, I have never been too kind [to myself] and it’s something I’ve spent years working on. The worst comparison that I’ve forced upon myself is that of negating my illnesses. Ever since I was a child and struggled with reoccurring benign tumors in my left ear; a tumor that grew big enough that it almost got to my skull, mind you. I would tell myself that somebody else had it worse than me. At least it wasn’t cancerous. I was eight years old people. Imagine, a small child thinking that her pain isn’t worthy because others have been through worse.
I have done that with everything in my life. Turner Syndrome, lymphedema, anorexia, bullying, general sadness, etc. Somebody out there has it worse than I do, and since that’s the case…who am I to complain? It took me years and a large dose of growing up to realize that my thought process wasn’t correct or healthy. When I realized it, that’s when I actually started thinking and healing.
My thought process isn’t anything revolutionary. It’s not difficult and it’s not something I’ll charge $100 a person for a seminar on. It’s literally just shifting your mindset, and when that happens, it’s life changing.
Say this, “Yep. I have the worst splitting migraine ever. I can’t complain though, somebody else out there has it way worse than I do.”
Now say this, “Yep. I have the worst splitting migraine ever. This is hard for me, this is the worst migraine pain I’ve ever felt.”
Do you see the difference? In the first one, we are negating our feelings and pushing them to the side, when in reality the latter helps us to look straight at what we’re feeling and say, “I see you, and you are validated.” When we acknowledge what we’re feeling, we are set free. We don’t deserve to put ourselves down and compare our pain to someone else’s. Everybody has a different pain tolerance, my 4 could be your 10 (on the pain scale of 1-10) or vice versa. We can never know how somebody else feels, so why are we writing somebody else’s dialogue? We can only speak to what we know.
I don’t generally suggest the thing I’m about to, but in a situation like this one, it’s important to remember; It’s okay to be selfish, as a matter of fact, when you’re really not well, it’s imperative to be selfish. Yes, selfish. I assume this needs a little more detail perhaps? I know it really threw me off at first.
The key word to the type of selfishness that I’m advising is empathy. We [the “sick people”] don’t want to be seen a charity case, we don’t want sympathy, we just want people to love us the way we are. We want someone to see us and instead of them saying, “I’m so sorry”, we want them to give us a hug and hear them say, “I am here for you, I am here with you, you’re not alone.” Because that offers more comfort and validation. Knowing you’re not alone in this big world is the greatest comfort someone can give.
You’re never alone. We always have G-d, but we also have our support team that we work so hard to build. It’s truly a group effort to live this life.
There’s a song that I constantly think about and it says, “Ich bin ich, und du bist du…” translating to English as, “I am I, and You are You” — to me, it’s not just a song, but a mantra. When you really stop and think about it, I am who I am. I cannot be someone different, if I try to be then I would not be me. So, I must have to remain myself, and only myself. If that’s the case, then we have to live life in the manner of remembering that ich bin ich, und du bist du; we are individuals who all have a story. We are individuals who are all going through this crazy thing called life. No more being more than or less than, just being ourselves and lifting others up. That’s what we need more of in this world. More love and compassion, less comparison and judgement.
Farshteyn [got it]? Farshteyn [got it]!