Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle ~ Plato
Because I’m the philosophical sort, I hang around with rather philosophical people– the kind of people who look at what is and wonder what it all means.
So inevitably, the conversation moves around to the big, bad MEANING OF LIFE, and how we each came to grips with our existential angst.
I’ve never had any angst. At least, not of the existential kind. The why of life has never seemed to require a definitive answer. But the people who struggle with it seem to really, REALLY struggle with it.
I don’t. But I do struggle constantly with confidence. I’ve got too much of it, you see, and I don’t want it to make me over-weening and arrogant. Don’t laugh! This is a real problem!
I know someone else who struggles to integrate her sexuality with her spirituality, someone else who’s coming to terms with not being the kind of daughter her parents wanted.
Everyone has their issues, their personal struggles and contretemps that are unique to them.
In fact, I would go so far as to say people have a single theme that they struggle with over the entire course of their lives. But perhaps this is adding too much to the narrative. You can take that part or leave it.
Other People are Not Simply Versions of Yourself
There have always been people who make it all ‘look so easy’, but nowadays social media has taken it to a whole new level. It’s easy to compare other people’s outsides to your ‘insides’ and come off feeling less than.
But what is particularly interesting to me is when people share their personal bugbears. It certainly makes me look at things differently, because the issues facing other’s are typically foreign to me; some peculiarity of personality and life experience made that particular issue pass me by.
Most of all, hearing these stories improves my compassion, because we all have a tendency to think that other people are pretty much the same as ourselves.
If you feel so inclined, why don’t you share your perennial struggle, one that comes up over and over again. Maybe the rest of the commentariat can offer perspective or insight. Maybe just framing it as your defining conflict will make it seem smaller. I don’t know. Just a fun thought exercise for Monday morning.