Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Pain and Your Pain, NOT My Pain VS. your Pain

I have been fighting for over a year now with something and it didn't hit me until JUST NOW, while reading THIS BOOK, that I have been going about it all wrong!

As many of you know, last year I said goodbye to two of my dearest friends/sisters as they packed up their families and moved to Uganda and Haiti, saying "yes" to God.

Then the posts started coming in of their lives (and hardships) as they fought to find a new normal for their families.

I remembered our very short stint living in Uganda...
the spotty electricity
the cold water
the climate
no air conditioning
no fast food
no familiar faces or smells
optional use of clocks ;)
the sickness with no medical care

But here I sat, in my air conditioned living room, on my powered laptop, after getting a long warm shower while dinner sat cooking in my crock pot, feeling guilty.

Guilty for being able to live with these pleasures and conveniences
Guilty for having a tough day
Guilty for feeling worn down or tired
(BTW-THEY never made me feel guilty...EVER. It was my own doing. My own thinking. My own comparison of my own life to theirs.)

In my head I told myself, "what right do I have to complain about MY life!"

But then I read this quote by Christa Black today: "Pain, is pain, is pain, is pain."

What right do I have to compare my pain with others?

And I think it is imperative to add, the thinking goes both ways. (It's very easy to fall into the victim mentality, thinking that nobody else's problems could ever be as bad as ours, leaving no room for compassion for others and what they are going through.)

I have no right to compare my child's sickness to the sickness of someone else's child.
I have no right to compare my bad day with someone else's.
I have no right to compare how I feel with the way someone else feels.

Likewise, I have no right to compare my hardships with those of my acquaintances who don't seem all that difficult (to me).

Because they are INCOMPARABLE.

You can't compare apples and oranges.
You can't compare pain with pain.

Yes, there should be a healthy dose of perspective,

but if your child is sick, they are sick and it doesn't matter what they have, you are a mom fighting through the pain with them

and if you are a mama, it doesn't matter if you have 1 kid, 3 kids or 8 kids, being a mama is hard work. Sure, it's a different kind of hard work, but the struggle is real in every case.

Your pain is your pain.
It sucks and, at times, it feels as though you may not see the end of it.

My pain is my pain.
And it sucks.
And many times I feel as though I may not see the end of it.

So, let's encourage each other through this journey called life, no matter how petty and silly we might sound to someone else...

because "pain, is pain, is pain, is pain."
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