Thursday, August 04, 2011

At least you...

There are a string of words that loop hands and skip together happily.

Yet, they are quickly becoming my least favorite grouping of words on the planet.

"At least you..."

These words are often followed by, "...did..." or "...didn't..." or some variation thereof.

Meaning: "At least you did...which I didn't" _OR_ "At least you didn't have your spleen ripped out through your I did."

The above are just examples.

I still have my spleen.

You get the idea and my point is...

When someone speaks of something that happens to them, or to someone they love, it isn't necessary to one-up them.

Intentionally or not.

{The jury is still out on that one}

There is a need in *some* people to shift focus to them, claiming said adversity as their own.

Flying the "pity me instead" flag.

Well...stop it.

99% of us who complain about the superficial know that we are complaining about the superficial.

99% of us realize that our hardships, compared to a majority of the world, are enviable.

We are NOT stupid for cryin' out loud.

Hardship is in the eye of the beholder, regardless of how utterly innocuous YOU might think the hardship is.

We realize, most of us, that we are not battling a terminal illness or struggling to hold on to our houses or wondering if we will be able to feed our kids tomorrow.

We know those situations are real and they are horrible reality...closer than we'd like to think.

We are not stupid.

We just need to voice something.

Something that causes us pain, at some level.

What do you care if that level is a 2 or a 10?

It isn't up to you to rate.

Just because we are not dealing with a horrific situation doesn't mean that we cannot voice a hardship, no matter how nominal or benign...and have it met with some amount of sympathy.

We want to know that we are not alone.

So, my friends, if you are experiencing a hardship...please don't apologize that you are stressed over something your kids did, lamenting that you should be happy that they are happy and healthy.

We all know that so many children are not.

It's ok to feel what you feel.

I know that you appreciate your life.

I know that you appreciate everything you have, the way you have it.

I know that you are deeply happy that these 'superficial' hardships are not a child battling cancer or hunger or abuse or...whatever.

It's o.k. that you tell me that it sucks to watch a parent decline into senility. You don't have to preface it by saying, "I know it could be worse..."

You feel what you feel.

You do not need to justify it to anyone else.

Not even to yourself.

Yes, there are those out there that don't realize how fortunate they are.

But I don't know those people.

I've never met them.

Everyone I know, who complain about "stuff", are fully aware how lucky they are...despite the hiccups life seems to deal them occasionally.

So...when someone tells you their story, please treat it as if it were important.

Because it is to them.

And please treat them in a manner that you'd like to be treated...

...should you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to share your story.

It means something to them.

And it means something to you.

And it really isn't important how much YOU feel it "should" mean.

That's just the way it is.



  1. Anonymous5:53 AM

    Way to bring tears to my eyes. Thanks for the reminder that we could all be more gentle, that the first priority shouldn't be telling our OWN story, but hearing our friends' stories. Love, Aliesha

  2. Thank you, my friend! I've been working on this myself. Sometimes the attempt to identify with someone and make them feel better can be mistaken for trying to one-up them. I've caught myself doing it (even recently) and I want to change that.

  3. You have once again hit the proverbial nail on the head momma. Why do people feel the need to "one-up" each other instead of just being there and LISTENING?
    Love ya xoxo