“All God’s creatures have their troubles…What would you like me to get you?” asks Anna Bates, a housemaid in the Crawley household. “A different life,” is poor Lady Edith’s defeated response.* Sometimes I have wished for a different life. I no longer want to play the role in mine, perhaps it would be easier if I started over and had a new life. When I reach this point, I have to decide if I am going to fight like hell or flee and hide my face in my pillow for all eternity.
When our life comes crashing down it’s difficult to see any good that will come out of it. We can only see our hopes and goals shattered down around our feet. Our head and perspective is concentrated on a downward outlook. It is okay to be in this stage. Everything is not always okay, and that is okay. (My only caution is to remember that this is a stage, it will pass, do not dwell here. But take the time to hurt, to heal and to understand what happened.)
My question is why do we downplay a person’s troubles? Why do we either heap on our own troubles in a competition or tell them they have it better that a third world country? Why are these typically the only options offered in a form of encouragement? Could we instead recognize that this fellow human being is having a rather difficult moment in adulting. Perhaps all they need is a listening heart—sometimes that’s all that’s needed is a person who will listen.
I know that for myself, I do not have the worst circumstances. I know that I have had a very sheltered and blessed life… and I am ever grateful for it. However, going through hardships on any level in any human being’s perspective, is not easy. So why add to the troubles by suggesting that their troubles are not troubles at all?
In the past few weeks I have been adulting with school loans and the very real possibility of having to drop from the program due to lack of funds. On top of making appointments, spending hours on the phone, and seeking advice from my landlords, I seem to have angered my legs. Yep, you read that right. My legs.
So here’s the story…A few weeks ago, my upper thigh—right by my bum—itched like crazy! Some bug bite perhaps? (Worst place to have a bug bite by the way—super uncomfortable!) By morning there were three red and itchy bumps right up there. Gracious I was walking funny! By that afternoon, three more bumps appeared on my other upper thigh, nearly in the same place. At this point, I am having a serious conversation with my legs, pleading them to be nice to me. In the next few days that followed I had red and itchy bumps all down both legs. Awesome! Luckily I live with someone in the medical field, she gave me a cream and antibiotics. To add to the fun, I was on my womanly time of the month and I happened to catch a wretched cold. Also I ended up being allergic to the antibiotics and broke out in an aggressive rash all down my body. Ahhhh! Good times!
Now, please do not tell me that someone has it worse (I am aware and I pray daily for others out there who are in a worse spot), or proceed to tell me your crazy downtrodden story. Just listen to my troubles, laugh when appropriate, or nod and hug me when I need it. Just listen—sometimes all one needs is a listening ear and a sympathetic heart.
I am happy to report that my legs are smooth and clear of all bumps and rashes! Praise God! I have also received a personal loan to continue on with the program and my studies!
Here’s to adulting in times when nothing makes sense—may we find slight humor in our circumstances and find the courage to fight on!
*Downton Abbey Season 3
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