Let’s be honest, I’ve been to the bottom of the barrel. I mean rock bottom…
I’ve heard maybe one life story that rivals mine for “whoa, that is way bad mate. How do you even go on?” I’m beginning to think, however, that only the people that have been to the very bottom are the ones that have a true appreciation for why it is that we should all be happy, always, every second, everywhere, all the time. And why we should encourage others to do the same. I am quite sick of looking around and thinking, “Jeez mate, can’t ya just look on the bright side? Do ya realize all that you’ve got?” It’s like our generation needs a wake up call.
HEY, YOU OUT THERE! YES, I’M TALKING TO YOU! WAKE UP!
LIFE IS LITERALLY LIVING YOU WHILE YOU SIT HERE READING THIS. TAKE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION MATE.
Need more convincing?
My father died tragically after falling down a staircase and cracking his head open on concrete. That was right after I yelled at him that I “hated him” and he was “the most selfish person I’d ever met.” All at 3 in the morning. I don’t blame myself though. Shit just happens. He knows how much I loved him, despite that we never said it (it’s just not the Irish way). As for me mam, we’re estranged. She never did love me much, and when Dad was gone not much held us together. So here I am, an orphan, as of 22, now 24. And what do I have to show for it, you ask?
JUST LOVE EVERYONE. ALL THE TIME. FOR NO REASON. FOR EVERY REASON.
Stop feeling so entitled to your suffering. Do you realize that every single person on this earth is facing their own battle right at this very moment? A battle by which the magnitude equates to the battle you are currently or have already faced. Everyone’s problems are relative. No, your best friend who just got dumped and can’t stop crying about it does NOT understand what it is like to lose both their parents in the same year and be thrust into the reality of being an adult after an entire life of being spoiled and coddled. What of it? To them, it really is a big deal. No one will ever fully understand you mate, that is the first lesson.
The second lesson is, how can you take your suffering and alleviate others’? Whatever you are feeling, whatever the pain, whatever the anger, just think to yourself – there are people out there feeling 1,000,000 times the pain I feel – whether it be from missing a job interview because they slept in or because they can’t afford to feed themselves or their family and now have to sleep on the street and rummage through garbage just to sustain themselves to see another day. The point is, everyone has problems, everyone is facing their own battle. You are no better or no worse than anyone else, so take your pain and turn it into empathy.
Make it the reason you look at everyone with compassion and think, “I understand you. Whatever your suffering is, I understand it. I empathize with it and I wish you did not have to go through it.” Turn your pain into positivity. Turn your pain into how you connect with others. Because otherwise, it will just be pain, and it will just eat you alive from the inside. The true test of suffering is how you use it to help others – how you use it to show people: “I see you. I may not understand you, but I understand pain so that we do have in common. And for that sole reason I will be here. I will listen. I will hear you. I will be your shoulder to cry on. I will be the one you vent to. If I have experienced even a fraction of ‘pain’ I can resonate with your pain and we can get through this together.”
You would be surprised at how beautiful the world looks once you experience your own pain and then see it in others. Once you see the interconnectedness of everything and everyone, and see that your job is to make the world a happier place even if just for a flash, even if just in the eyes of one person. At the end of the day, once you have experienced true suffering, you truly appreciate the value of someone just being there. So be there. Be there for a stranger. Be there for your best friend. Be there for your second cousin twice removed. If you see someone that is struggling, or that is having a bad say, just say to them: “I’ve been there. Wishing you the best.” That is literally all it takes.