In this life, I have learned that in more ways than one, I am not alone and unique in my experiences and feelings. Yet, there have been maybe times when my mind convinced me that it is impossible for someone to understand my experiences, thoughts, or struggles.
Somewhere in this life, we internalized this notion that the best way to deal with something is to keep it to ourselves and “figure it out” alone. It’s as if exposing our weakness, pain, confusion, or struggle in turn makes us weak, insecure, trivial, or incompetent. While I was out to dinner with a friend late last week, we reminisced about our high school years together, our college days apart, our passions, and our concerns about the areas of blindness that exist in our future. At various points in the conversation, we discovered that we surprisingly experienced many of the same questions, emotions, struggles, and concerns throughout our lives. I found myself thinking that if we weren’t so afraid of sharing this stuff earlier in life, we would have felt less secretly overwhelmed and had less of the “no one will understand me” delusion.
Stories change, but principles stay the same. Everyone deals with having to find personal identity and purpose, success, loss, hurt, pain, isolation, abrupt change, and uncertainty. We tend to think that a person cannot understand us unless they have had the same exact experience. I guarantee there is at least one person that you can find within your reach that can understand the emotions behind your struggle.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we are not alone. Your challenges are not solely a result of something you did wrong, but rather a result of LIFE. Yes, you can thank life for everyone having their portion of challenge. So set a dinner date, order something yummy, bring one or two people you trust (and possess wisdom and the ability reciprocate vulnerability), and start sharing your story… I guarantee someone with say, they’ve dealt with that too. And if not, you can always talk to me. 😉