Pain and heartache are such a part of life, and it reminds us that we are alive, that our nerves function and our heart beats, and we still are conscious and responding to all around us.
And we all have our own, while some of us have more and many different kinds, our pain is our own burden to carry and our struggle to deal with it in life. We each carry our own, and often it is so easy to look at this person or that one and say "well their life is pretty charmed, look at how things work out for them," not realizing the stories that lurk underneath even the most clean and perfect of surfaces.
"You don't know what we have to deal with" I'm told.
And I say "I don't know completely but I know you're dealing with a lot and so am I and so is everyone else. You might not see it, it might not be the same thing but it's there. It might look like nothing ever goes wrong for me, but that's not true." And there's that look of shock when I say what the last year has been like.
If you get behind anyone's "how are you I'm fines," there's so many tales of loss, betrayal, and hard things. Getting burned, getting snubbed, being left alone and confused and wondering how to pick the pieces up.
That girl over there who's beautiful and cute and seems so bubbly happy all the time? Her brother died of a drug overdose. That guy who likes to party all the time watched two of his sisters die fleeing genocide. That woman's fiance died a month before the wedding. That man's brother got hooked on crack and disappeared. That girl who smiles all the time? She's haunted by the living and dead ghosts of the past, the wounds from others that have only begun to heal, the friends lost to murder, alcohol, depression, and drugs.
And it's not even the lost ones, it's the living and the way that people hurt each other not even realizing what they do half the time... an offhand tactless comment here, a "don't tell anyone this" there, the banal cruelty of coworkers, relatives, and friends, the sins of omission when a good thing could have been done but wasn't.
And I don't know what to say, because even if we feel empathy, there's no way we can understand a lot of things unless we go through them. I've never been divorced or falsely accused or grabbed off the street and beat up because I looked like someone else. But there are other things I do know that you wouldn't expect. And we're deluding ourselves to think that we're the only ones who struggle.