Last week, someone in my life passed away. In the midst of shock and sadness, many of us have wondered: what could WE have done to prevent this?
The truth is, you can see someone every day but never really know what they’re battling. You can work with someone, live with someone, read the blog of someone and THINK you know what is going on in their heart and head- but do you really? Do you truly know the heartache and fear they might be battling? And are you making the problem worse?
Alison mentioned in one of her posts that she’s been dealing with people saying nasty things about her online. It is hard for me to imagine, being that she’s a beautiful, successful, intelligent, talented woman, but it’s a struggle she’s facing nonetheless. This upset me tremendously because I consider her a friend and I don’t understand who would waste precious time tearing down another person. And, what is the point?
Photo source here.
This isn’t meant to be a scolding session: no one is worse at this than me. I’m an asshole. I yelled at the clerk at the post office on Friday because I was in a hurry. I yelled at J after everything in our house started falling apart over the weekend. I once unintentionally hurt a blogger friend because I was only thinking of myself. I am not perfect. But, as I’ve realized, I hurt others when I am hurting. When I am stressed and overwhelmed. When I’m feeling insecure and scared. Those are the easiest times to make someone else feel like garbage.
We have different goals and lives and opinions and we can’t all be best friends. But we can respect one another. We can stop wasting energy on hating each other. If I don’t like a person, I separate myself. I avoid them (when possible). I smile and walk away. I’m not friends with them on Facebook and don’t follow them on Instagram. If I don’t enjoy a blog, I don’t read it. Pretty simple. Try to remember that the negative energy you’re spending on a person could be put to more productive use- like loving someone else.
What can we do? Give each other grace. Be nice. Smile. Compliment genuinely. Listen. You have no idea the struggles another is facing. A listening ear, a shoulder, or a smiling face could go a long way. Even the most seemingly-confident person could be having an awful time, so think like a human being before you shit all over them. Remember how you felt on your worst day and how you would have given anything for sweet word… and extend that kindness. As the saying goes, we’re all fighting a battle. Some worse than others.