Thursday, October 13, 2011

No, really, all is not "Fine"

I read this blog post titled "Why Are You Crying" from Paulo Coelho today and it really struck a cord with me. Maybe you, too, have noticed that there are a lot of folks out there who are hurting. In going through my own life-changing crisis I would too often get a shocked response from people who knew me about how they had no idea things were as bad as they were.  Why do we hide our suffering?  I can't speak for everyone, but I can share a few of my reasons and perhaps others can relate:

**I didn't want to admit the truth to myself - much less anyone else.
Acknowledging the truth of a situation carries a certain level of responsibility and call to action that I wanted to avoid. After all not EVERYTHING was bad in my life. And it seemed self-centered to focus on the bad when I had so many blessings to count.

**I didn't want to burden others with my problems.
Everyone has their own problems to worry about. Why should I be so selfish as to add to their struggles by dumping mine on them?

**I didn't want to risk the consequences of having to face up to what was going wrong in my life.
I was afraid that if I acknowledged what was going wrong my friends would not let me just slide by anymore.

**I didn't want to "air all our dirty laundry" for the whole world to see.
Was it really anybody's business - all the trouble we were having?

**I was afraid if I was honest about what was happening I would "absolutely lose it."
I knew that if I came out and acknowledge the struggles we were facing that I would break down emotionally.  There were times when I couldn't envision ever recovering from all the pent up tears.

I am sure that others have their own reasons for hiding their pain.  My thought in response to Paulo Coelho's post is that it may not have completely been the generous friend's fault that he did not know his friend was in need. And, my other thought is that I am so grateful that when I was finally able to acknowledge my pain and suffering that my own generous friends and relatives stepped forward to support me. God-willing I want one day to be in the position to be the generous friend and hopefully, I can be observant and present to encourage my friends not to wait until the need is dire before reaching out.