Sunday, September 14, 2014

Remembering to THINK

"Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors."
-Andrew Boyd
I know beyond any shadow of a doubt I am guilty of not practicing the 'Think' adage. I know you've seen it and I know you quite possibly have been on the receiving end of a parent, adult, or someone 'kindly' reminding you:

It is a very simple concept and perhaps this is why we refuse to apply it in our day to day lives. Humans are ever want to make things complicated. (insert smile) However, that’s where I cut you slack, the end of the line so to speak. I am trying to calmly remind myself people are ignorant and refuse to hold compassion for the world around them. I try my hardest to not sit in judgment of people’s actions. In any given situation I have no idea how I would react or what lengths I would go to relieve myself of the shackles of my burdens. I won’t know until I am there and Lord willing I may never have to know. This means I shouldn’t, we shouldn’t, cast our eyes upon them and call them foul or whatever form of rebuke you find handy. You are not the expert on anyone’s life. Until your life is perfect, bluntly, shut the hell up.

The past two months it would seem death is on parade in my world. It would seem that with this week being National Suicide Prevention Week, suicide is even more prevalent or at the forefront of many conversations. Locally a young man ended his life earlier this week. The book I finished yesterday battled with the concept of assisted suicide. Then today I am party to the ignorant comments of would be ‘wealth of knowledge’ experts on why people resign themselves to ending their lives, why people are depressed, or why self-injury exists.

“She cuts her arms because she is depressed——” meanwhile the adults remain oblivious to the ‘cheerful’ chatter going on. “Well I think suicide is definitely the better answer if you are depressed.”

“Depression, cutting, suicide, you name it…people are self-seeking attention grabbers.”

“Parents need to teach their kids to not take everything so seriously.” (in regards to the young man’s suicide)

First off, if you are the person(s) who said these things and you are reading this, perhaps you are getting mad. Well as someone reminded me with a pin on Pinterest yesterday: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” Exactly! We should all be immensely happy I’m not writing what my actual response to these comments was, as they were quite colorful.

I am struggling to remain calm and collected while writing this post. My friend Joy calls me Momma Maddie and let me tell you, right now Momma Maddie is ready to seek vengeance!

I do not wish my struggles on my worst enemy. I have to remind myself of that statement again and again when I am hurt or frustrated by the lack of compassion or understanding people have for each other’s predicaments and journeys. If you have to suffer through it to understand it, then I will deal with you not understanding.

You will never know the immense despair someone must live with day in and day out that drives them to seek an end to their suffering. There is not a simple this or that answer to stopping it. Each and every situation is unique.

Our role in this world is to remind the burdened that A. They are needed. B. Your story is not over. You will impact people. C. You are not alone. It may seem like it, I know, but there are other people of every age, shape, location, walk of life out in this big world struggling alongside you from a distance. They understand your story that is being written. They want to hear you. They want to see you live. Just as they need the reminder of the very same things!

You are extraordinary. No one will ever fill the shoes you walk in. There will never be another person in this world with the same makings that make YOU a precious human being, no one to fill in the ‘gap’. I know it is easier said than done, but shake the dust of this world that tries every day and every minute, it would seem, to bring you down. There will always be ignorant people. I wish I could fight them for you because that would mean I have learned how to fight my own ‘demons’.

Oh dear hearts hold on.
If you have incurable ignorance of the mouth, then please learn to keep your thoughts to yourself. Do you even comprehend the impact your words can have on an innocent bystander hearing you or even the very person you are waylaying with your trifling rubbish?!?

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else."
Charles Dickens

I dedicate this blog post to Mum. A woman who continues to be a lightener of burdens in my life and so many others. Sunday's Project 365 is for her too. (insert wink)

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