I've always had a pretty laid-back personality. I like to kind of drift along in life and enjoy what comes my way. I endure a lot, I don't get irritated too easily, and I'm not what I would consider 'judgmental.' I don't really have a problem with what other people do or how they live their lives, as long as it isn't negatively affecting me. I'm kind of a peace, love, and happiness girl without the hippie soul. Que sera. That kind of thing.
I realize that not everyone is like me. Some people are wound a little tighter. There is nothing wrong with that, it just makes us different. But something we all have in common is the ability to put things into perspective. And that's what I'm blogging about today, now that you've had a character introduction ;)
I remember as a teenager hearing adults say, "So-and-so doesn't even know what love IS." My mom was one of those people. So when my heart was bruised or shattered by the boy of the year, I didn't feel like my mom would understand. I vowed then to try to understand other people, and not to become unrelatable with age.
My philosophy on that topic has always been, "...but that's the (best/worst) thing (he/she) has experienced up to this point." A person of fifteen may not have the life experience in romance to know love from puppy love. She may one day look back and laugh at the boys who she was once so fond of, but when she's in that moment, it's the only experience she has. Her heart flutters, her palms sweat, and that's the MOST romantic love she's ever known. And when that boy decides to change direction, the pain and hurt she feels is the WORST thing she's ever felt.
Some people "rate" others' successes or failures based on their own. If what you're going through isn't as wonderful or tragic as something they've experienced, you best not even talk about it. I realize that someone who lost his legs in an accident would give anything to trade places with the guy whose "huge" problem is that he cut off the end of his pinky at work, but both of those people are experiencing the worst thing THEY ever dealt with.
The stay-at-home mom who feels trapped and suffocated in her (seemingly) perfect family endures heartache just as the wife who finds her husband cheating. The mother who miscarries at six weeks feels emptiness just as the mother whose teenage son dies in a car accident. It's not the same pain, but it's pain for both.
Just because we think our problems are "BIGGER" or "worse" than others, doesn't mean that person isn't enduring the WORST thing in his whole life. Just because someone's success or love story isn't as grand as ours doesn't mean it's not the best thing to ever happen to her. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget everyone hurts. Everyone loves. Everyone feels. Maybe what would be a small problem to you is life-changing to someone else. Maybe the bald chunky guy who gives you the heebie-jeebies makes someone else's life worth living. You just never know.
So next time you're ready to tell someone to "suck it up" or explain to them something MUCH more awful/amazing that happened to you, grab some perspective. Remember that no matter the cause, the worst hurt of your life is still the worst hurt of your life. No matter the size of the success, it's still a success. And everyone knows love.