Some thoughts about suffering.
I love winter boots. I love to spot good boots on other people. They always look solid and comfortable and warm. I was out walking recently when I realised that the back of my heel was starting to rub inside my boot, and this started to colour my thinking. As I looked around all I could see were other people in comfy boots. I regretted the fact that my boots weren’t as comfy as theirs. Almost started to feel envy. But I caught this train of thought early before I got to feeling that the whole world was unfair, and realised that everyone I saw might have a stone in their boot. But they go about their day as best they can in spite of it, just as I was doing.
When I’m struggling with my head for any reason it has the effect of narrowing my world. My focus gets drawn in to just me and just getting through the days. My head is very occupied with itself so I have no reserves for anything other than trying to maintain the basics – eat, drink, sleep. This is understandable because it’s self-protective at a time when I need protection most. At times like this, though, it’s easy to forget what’s going on in other people’s worlds. And it’s more easy to assume that I’m suffering uniquely while everyone around me is ‘normal’ and ‘well’.
But the nature of suffering is that everyone does it. Everyone is walking around with a stone in their boot. Everyone has their trials. It’s usually not obvious until you start to hear their story. This blog – as I see it – is a way of taking part in and promoting that conversation and encouraging people to build up the courage to express how they feel. It’s taken me my whole life to be able to say ‘I don’t feel well’ – there must be quicker ways to self-expression than this!
So consider that everyone has a stone in their shoe. And ask them for their story. Or consider a far better way of saying it:
Be kind to everyone because everyone’s on a hard road.