Friday, January 31, 2014

How Do You Say It?

The other day I was treated to a "belated" birthday lunch from a friend who brought a friend with her. She was sharing how encouraged she was by her friend who was always cheerful and positive even though she is losing her sight and is struggling with things in her life. After comparing herself to her friend's struggles, she said she really had nothing to complain about. Her friend was always joyful and she wished she could be that way.

I knew part of her sharing was directed toward me. I'm not one to jump to the positive. I never said anything, just listened. I knew anything I said wouldn't make a bit of difference.

So how do you explain to someone that every life is different and every struggle isn't the same? How do you tell them life is so much harder when you are alone in the world? How do you explain to someone what it feels like to be totally alone at Christmas while they are surrounded by family and being told they are loved? How do you explain to someone that you may go a week and not see another living soul when you are sick because you are alone?

I have always believed if you are loved you can do anything. You are given love and give it to those who come in contact with you. Imagine it this way: when your car runs out of gas and you're running on fumes until you can reach the next gas station to fuel up. The gas is love. Once you fuel up, you can go and go and go until it comes time to fuel up again. Family, friends, husbands, children, etc. are the fuel. It is amazing what you can do when you have the fuel of love, when someone believes in you.

When you're alone in the world, you don't have those "gas" sources to fill up your tank. You also don't have the security wall to block you from many problems that life brings. Instead you have to deal with every bad, unexpected, struggling, etc., moment in life on your own. No husband to deal with it. No children. No mom or dad. Just you. It takes its toll.

Yes, I believe in God and His love. It is healing and enduring. I also believe He didn't make us to be alone, but for some reason a few of us are left in that predicament. So if we are not "Mary Poppins" cheerful, don't pass judgement. You have no idea what we might have gone through that day.

With our society turning more toward computers and cell phones, people don't even stop to say hello anymore. Few even look at you when you're out in public. I learned a long time ago people are more interested in how they look than what you are wearing. I explain it as the "invisible society." I feel invisible. I've sat in a room with two other people and listened to them talk for two straight hours barely saying a word to me or allowing me to get a word in edge wise. I felt more alone when I left than when I had been home for two days straight.

Slow down and listen. I've encountered people who are so busy talking about themselves and what they are doing that they didn't hear one word you said. When they leave, you feel as though you've been hit by a tornado. Actions DO speak louder than words. Don't waste so many words!!

Back to the person I was speaking about at the beginning of this post, she is married, has a daughter who is grown and out of the nest, but doesn't have to face the world alone. She is loved. I'm thankful for her being loved.

Sometimes I just want to say to every person I meet, "Are you loved? BE THANKFUL!"  After all, no one wants to hear about bad things like being alone in the world, fighting problems all of the time, struggling with medical issues, and least of all being alone in the world. They want Mary Poppins. Sometimes so do I.

 

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