I wish people would stop thinking that pain is relative.
When someone rants to us, our initial reaction is to tell them that it’s okay because there are other people who have it worse. It might be true, but comforting others by telling them that they are not hurting enough doesn’t help.
Everyone experiences pain differently. Just because you lost a mother and your friend lost a sister doesn’t mean your loss is more painful. Pain is pain. It all gives us the same feeling of overwhelming grief, longing, and anger. It wakes us up in the middle of the night questioning if what we believe in is still the same. It catapults us into a direction of darkness without leaving a clue on how to go back to where we have been.
Social media has made us believe that happiness should always be a choice. It’s made us think that there is shame in sadness and suffering. When you are bombarded with filtered photos, staged smiles, and scripted videos, there is a huge chance of questioning where you are in life. But no matter how determined we are to be happy, there will always be days where we will doubt ourselves. There will always be moments where we cannot see where we are going and that is as normal as the rain. Dark days are needed in order for us to appreciate and hope for the next sunrise. And when it comes, we are more thankful than ever.
We should all stop comparing ourselves with other people in terms of success and in terms of loss. Although we are not different from each other, we all have individual ways of coping and adjusting. We all have different ways of how we overcome the same struggles. And that story matters. Our individual journeys are more interesting because we take different routes to get to the same destination.
When someone comes to us for advice, I wish we’d all become more accepting. I wish that instead of saying that there’s a bigger problem out there, we’d tell them that what they’re feeling is valid. Acceptance is hard to come by nowadays, and it is something we all need to learn how to give. There is so much criticism going on and it led us to become the worst critics of ourselves. In desperate times, we turn to others for advice, but we are pushed away because the common reply is, “There is someone who always has it worse.”
I wish we all understand that pain is not relative and hurting doesn’t make us less. Pain is bitter, but it is also the same reason why we become stronger and wiser. It is something that we should learn to embrace. It is something we should learn to accept. When we do, we won’t have to push away those who ask us to listen. Because if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s the fact that pain is easier to bear if you’re not the only one who’s carrying it on your shoulder.