I think the Universe has a way of balancing things out if we are able to listen. I can get stuck in this dark, hermit-like, head space that perpetuates a negative cycle of worry and stress. Sometimes, I linger there. I'm sure we all can.
Chronic pain and illness is like this awful, yippy, ankle-biting dog that relentlessly chews around your ankles - trying to bring you down. It's constant. So unrelenting that your energy is sapped and you actually have no f*cks left to give. It's a common phrase to throw around right now, not giving an eff. But when you reach the bottom of exhaustion and actually couldn't find one even if you wanted to, it's a whole different ball game.
That's the thing really, all of this plays out on the mental field more than anything. The heavy feelings of guilt for what you can't do and the burden you feel you are on the people around you. The sadness for how much this sucks and how it feels never ending. You have to work, and work HARD to manifest some hope and still keep it real. It's wild really.
So. Much. Effort.
But here's the thing - other people are the key. Which is also a really painful fact to swallow. For some more than others, it's an epic effort to reach out for help, admit that you need someone, and to then receive said help. It's hard to connect. Especially because all this negativity and sadness kind of naturally pushes people away. And then if you're the kind of person who finds it hard to open up - that connection feels even MORE difficult.
But people are still the answer.
The person in the drive thru who anonymously pays for your coffee. That unexpected real smile from someone in line at the grocery store. A message or email from someone who you haven't spoken with in forever but who truly touches your heart in just the way you needed it. The dear friend who checks in with an "I love you" at the most opportune time despite their own busy lives. Those moments are life sustaining.
Today I had the opportunity to serve some members of the Kitsap community who really needed it. We covered a great event for work that offered free shoes, free haircuts, and a hot meal. It's the kind of event that humbles you completely. To have conversations and serve food to people who have no roof to go home to and rarely have hot meals. People carrying small, 2 month old babies and people who have spent decades like this and people who are doing their damnedest just to keep on living.
That's raw. And very real. And offers a lot of perspective.
There's that saying, "someone else has always got it worse." And YES. That is true. Someone always does. But pain is also relative. One hardship does not negate another. We all have something - and this should be the tie that binds us together even if they are completely different challenges.
As human beings we can recognize that common struggle and comfort each other. We can step outside of ourselves and help be the backbone for someone else. That's our job - to hold each other up.
And realize we are all the same.