Get rid of the people in your life who minimize your pain. The ones who mock and judge the pain you carry like it’s an unflattering purse you deliberately picked out and consciously chose to carry. They’ll offer you insensitive, simplistic advice on how you should just stop carrying it. All it takes is a quick shake of the arm, dip of the shoulder, and flick of the strap for you to get rid of it, right? Ehhh, not so much. There is no quick-fix to pain, and we cannot control how deeply we feel it. But you already knew this. Even they already knew this, but they only apply it to themselves or to someone whose pain they relate to or approve of.
People who are personally offended by your pain never respected you to begin with. These people take offense to your pain because they do not validate your suffering. They have a superior mentality that they mask with calculated indifference. They will not acknowledge your pain when it’s manifested through actions against you. They will only acknowledge it when it’s manifested through your reactions to those actions. They ignore your pain until it has directly inconvenienced them. They underreact to the pain and overreact to the reaction.
They ask, “How could you act this way?” but never ask, “Why do you feel this way?”
Always remember: Your pain is personal and not to be taken personally. Nobody has rights to your pain. Nobody has grounds to be offended or insulted by your pain. It is not theirs to label or scrutinize. Pain cannot be persuaded or controlled. It is not a narrative to be spun or a motive to be angled.
Disengage from people who treat your pain as a burden. Release yourself from people who try to convince you that your pain is not real or not important. Cut ties from anyone who discredits your pain by constantly comparing it to other people’s or their own. Ignore anyone who judges your expression of pain but never listens to you express your pain.
You don’t need to understand someone’s pain to acknowledge it. It’s okay if you don’t know what to say, because pain does not seek answers, it seeks compassion—and compassion speaks louder than words. So speak through your omission of judgement, through your willingness to listen, through your capacity to empathize, and through your eagerness to learn. Ignorance resides on shallow land. Fight to break its grounding. When it gives way to deeper surfaces, explore them. All anybody wants is to be heard.