Why is it that when another woman, in her complete joy, shares perhaps a little more than we’d like to see on Facebook it can hurt so much? And why is it that when we tell a friend our heart is sore and our courage is nearing empty on our gas gauge for this journey we’re on, they send us a picture of their child to “cheer us up?” It’s days like these when it can feel like some great cosmic comedian is playing a cruel and unforgiving joke on us. We can swing between hysterical tears and anger steaming like a tea kettle left on the stove too long.
So what do we do in these moments? How do we celebrate their blessings and not sink into the despair of the void of our own? And some thought “what is the meaning of life?” was a tough question!
A friend once said to me “you know, if we all laid our troubles down side by side, once we investigated everyone else’s, we’d pick ours back up and happily walk away.” It can be in moments like this when we forget to lay our troubles down next to theirs. We forget that sometimes their marriages are on shaky ground, sometimes they struggle with their weight in a hidden game of self-defeating behaviors, perhaps they have lost more than we could ever know, or experienced abuses we could not fathom.
Yes, my sister-in-law’s joy and jubilation in the one thing that eludes me hurts, perhaps it always will. However, when I lay my troubles down next to hers, I would pick mine back up and go home. I can always delete a Facebook post, and it’s better to make some tea with that steaming kettle than to burn myself, or anyone else.