The Struggle We Don’t Discuss
“We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
I feel like there’s something we’re not talking about; like there’s this small shadow of an elephant in the midst of our conversations and relationships. Maybe if we don’t talk about it, we won’t give it life. The problem is that if we don’t talk about it, we will either create a numb existence for ourselves or we create a tortured, sick soul inside of us. But either way, there is life there even if we choose to ignore it.
What am I talking about?
We all have some degree of brokenness in us, but none of us want to admit that to each other. We all experience struggle in our lives, but we don’t want to shine a light on it or let anyone know that we’re struggling. “Everything’s fine,” we say to each other.
Why is it that it’s so taboo to show or express weakness or struggle within ourselves when we all intellectually know that we all deal with it from time to time? Are we that caught up in ourselves and our own ego that we think that sharing our brokenness with others will diminish our value somehow? Do we really care that much about what other people think? I think sometimes we do – and that’s another thing we all have in common.
We’re not alone in this and to experience pain, struggle, brokenness or loss isn’t a bad thing; it’s actually a gift. Those are opportunities presented to us where we need to heal and grow. When you work out and lift some heavy weights, you’re actually tearing the muscle, so that when it heals – it grows back even stronger; so it is with a broken heart. When you’re in pain and you take the opportunity and the journey toward healing, you will surface a new and stronger part of yourself. You will also get the benefit of seeing all the beauty and light and peace that exists inside of you, so that the next struggle is met with greater resilience and compassion.
We should try to not be so scared to go into the darkness, for there is a brilliant light on the other side. It allows us to be self-aware and live authentically, which gives us a sense of freedom. Maybe once we all start getting really honest with ourselves and each other about these opportunities, there will be fewer of us walking around with either a numb or damaged soul. Maybe if we talk about it, it may give others permission to explore their own heart. Maybe we can help one other find the blessing in the journey.