“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” ― C.S. Lewis
“I had no idea!”
“You never said anything!”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know. I can talk, alright. I talk too much, in my opinion. I say exactly what I think and why. I speak too quickly, too harshly, and all at full volume.
When I am hurting, I don’t say much. (when I am hurt – then I often say something, regrettably) But when the pain is heart-wrenching and deep, when I cry myself to sleep from the pain, those hurts are hard to get out. I stuff them. Bury them under a breezy manner and quick smiles.
I bet you do it too. You feel scared. What people will think, or worse, what they will say. That must be where it starts – this fear of showing our hurts. We tried, when we were younger and full of trust. We shared, and they were not gentle with us. So we learned to stuff it. To hide it well. Much too well.
-If you knew that woman sitting next to you in church just experienced a miscarriage, you would stop judging her for missing 3 Sundays in a row. You might even hug her.
-if you knew that man ahead of you in the checkout line was still in shock over his wife leaving him – you would stop despising his unkempt appearance. You might even pray for him.
-If you knew that awkward girl was trying to recover from sexual abuse, you would stop telling people how ‘pathetic’ she is. You might even take her out for a meal.
-If you knew that person in the car ahead of you was crying from the pain of losing his child, you would not yell at him for driving so slowly. You might even cry too.
No, we do not judge and despise people when they are going through deep hurts. We sympathize. We are understanding and patient. The problem comes when we don’t know. We assume they are on the same busy path through life that we are following. We only see the tip of the iceberg, and like the Titanic – we don’t see the gigantic pain just under the surface.
See, most people don’t purposely add hurt to hurt. (some do, I’m not talking of those wretched people) Mostly, we try to sympathize and help each other. But still, we don’t share. It’s too private. The hurt is too raw, and besides, how and when and why do you even share how it feels to cry yourself to sleep over a pain that is 10 years old? 20 years old? Isn’t there a statute of limitations on how long you’re allowed to grieve? Aren’t you supposed to ‘heal’ from childhood abuse, and get over it? “She wasn’t good enough for you anyways! Better fish in the sea!”
No, my friend.
To you who are sad. Hurt. Grieving. It’s OK. Be happy if you can, grieve when you need to, feel the hurt when it comes. If you can find 1 or 2 strong and true friends who can handle your pain – that is ideal. I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through some of my deep sorrows in life, were it not for my faithful few friends. Although, there comes a point when only God can comfort you. Only He knows your heart without words. He understands! Don’t hesitate to run to Him with your pain.
To you who are not in a season of sorrow or loss; be aware. Don’t be too quick to judge someone, especially someone you are not very close to. They likely haven’t told you that their job is unbearable, or their health is poor, or their favorite uncle just died. Be sensitive to everyone. Assume that there is more to their story than they’re telling you. Be merciful.