So I’m entering the zone of a sensitive subject once again. I have been pondering this for close to a year. Over the past week I shared a couple of posts on my face book page talking about some personal struggles. I talked about going on strike and boycotting needles. I was absolutely at my personal limit of being poked. So I took a minute and talked about how I felt about needles, admitted that I was venting and completely owned it, in fact, even gave myself permission to do so and even admitted to being a wimp (because I know there are others who have got it worse than myself by far) I found some humor in the situation and joked about it. I mentioned I know we all have struggles and problems. Then after posting, I got up and went and had my injections done again. Amazingly enough, I healed up in just two days and didn’t hurt at all after this time. I’m certain it’s because of the prayers that went out in my behalf. Thank you to those who prayed for me. There is nothing too small to pray about. God cares about us and wants us to approach him about every thing.
So my question, why do we look down on individuals saying, “Hey, I’m struggling?” We all have problems and trials, so are we saying it’s better to put up a fake front pretending our lives are perfect for the sake of never being negative? Isn’t this a form of dishonesty? We are human with feelings, likes, dislikes, quirks, imperfections and I think it’s time to embrace this.
I am a great proponent of positive thinking. I have gotten through more challenges than I care to mention by looking for the tender mercies in my life. I’ve been blessed with a gift to find the life lessons in obstacles. It’s a gift that has been nurtured. With that being said, I have had some really crappy moments in my life where I have had the life literally sucked out of me and wondered if I would ever be happy again. Through the help of amazing individuals, lots of prayers, the healing power of the Savior, I have been healed emotionally time and time again.
We are surrounded by lots of individuals that come from all walks of life. We have those who struggle with mental illnesses of many kinds, we have individuals struggling with eating disorders, we have individuals struggling with infertility or miscarriages, we have individuals who struggle with chronic illness, we have individuals going through divorce, struggling with addictions (often a coping mechanism because they are stuffing feelings), individuals who have been abused and others here struggling with betrayals of all kinds. The list could go on.
Could you imagine just going through the loss of a loved one and have someone come up to you and say, “Hey, I’m sorry about your loss, but don’t you think your being a little dramatic about it. It’s time to get over it and be positive. Yet we are on social media every day and doing this very thing every time we suggest we should never vent, never be negative and suggest all the scientific reasons for it. You’re neighbor or friend in another state just lost someone they care about, just read your post and so instead of reaching out to someone, they suffer in silence. This isn’t the Saviors way.
We are struggling with an epidemic of a massive proportion, with individuals both young and old, who are comparing themselves with their neighbors so called Pinterest Perfect lives. I cringe every time I hear or read a post about the need to always be positive. Again, I’m a great proponent of positive thinking, I believe in the importance of setting goals, and I know how dangerous it is to get stuck in our negative junk, however to tell someone who is struggling that they need to be more positive is the opposite of what our Savior would do. He taught us to lift the hands that hang low, and to mourn with those who mourn. This means we are all going to have times where life is going great and other times where life will be hard and really low. We can learn so much on how to truly help our neighbors by studying the life of our Savior. I believe their is a better way to teach positivity, and that is by sharing our authentic selves, our failures and what we are doing to overcome them. More importantly, when approached one on one, just lend a listening and understanding ear holding back all judgement. We don’t need to be afraid to let people see we aren’t perfect. Life is messy and if someone is struggling I would rather they share it on Facebook so I can know they are in need of help rather than getting a call from the local police department telling me of a loved ones death because they felt they couldn’t reach out. We will all experience opposition, we will all experience tough times, and sometimes life knocks the wind right out of us. It’s okay to let others see this side of us too. Then we pick ourselves back up, look for the life lessons and move forward. I’m so grateful to so many who have helped me pick up the pieces of a broken life on more than one occasion. So this Christmas rather than trying to present a perfect facade, give yourself the gift of being authentic. It feels really good.
I can’t tell you how many times I have put something out there on social media that answers have come to prayers. When my son got sick and I voiced what was going on on Social Media, I was I introduced to our physician who has helped a couple of us now. Just putting it out there that I’m at my wits end with my injections and extreme dislike of needles, I had someone reach out to me with a product that helps with neuropathy and had every nutrient in it that I had researched earlier. Instead of buying 6 supplements, now I only have to buy the one to get the same nutrients.
Am I saying we shouldn’t teach others about being positive? No! What I am saying is when someone is struggling with something we shouldn’t judge them for how, when or where they choose to reach out. Maybe they don’t have a best friend to share things with. Maybe the answer to a long standing prayer is in something we share. As humans it’s a need to have connection. What I am saying, is we need to approach this more authentically and mindfully. The adversary can use the means of always being positive for his divisive measures too. After all there is opposition in all things. We need to be patient because some individuals may not have the training, education or knowledge needed to know how to approach their struggles in a healthy way.
I love all my friends who share struggles, problems and what they’ve done to overcome. I love my friends who have the courage to say, ” Help, I could use some prayers!”
With that being said, there is what I call repetitive venting for the sake of getting attention. These individuals may have no desire to change and or may actually be addicted to being a victim. They like all the attention that goes with putting all their problems out there. There is a difference between sharing something because we could use some help and taking advantage of those around us by trying to get attention. So if we want to know where we are at, we can ask ourselves, “Am I needing some help or added support? Could this help someone else or am I doing this for personal attention?” Also pay attention to impressions of the spirit. If we are repeating the same story over and over, find ourselves unwilling to let go and complaining constantly then it’s a clue we may be addicted to having a victim mentality. In this case we can ask for help in overcoming this, which has everything to do with retraining our thinking process, learning how to be more positive, asking for support and/or going through a 12 Step Program or support group and involve the Savior in the healing process.
Even in sharing this, I cringe and struggle because even these individuals are or may be struggling with battles that we can’t always see and only the Savior knows everyones hearts. It could actually be a cry for help. So even then we need to be kind and patient. I know there are times I have been in this place not realizing it and am grateful for those who have been patient with me.
Just some thoughts to put out there this fine December season. May God bless each of you during this time where we celebrate the birth of our Savior. He truly is the Master Physician and healer of all that is painful in this life. May we be mindful of those around us and be a source of comfort and joy. May we be His hands in bringing light to the world. May we absolutely, positively strive to be more Christlike each and every day.