People worry. I bet some of you do.
Look at the people around you, be it your friends, family, acquaintances, or even strangers sitting in the same café as you. Notice their expressions and their body language. Feel their voice tone. Eavesdrop at some of their chitchats. Take few seconds to glance at what they do when they are a bit free.
Then, go home and take a look at your reflection in the mirror.
Those people around you, would look different from your reflection, of course (unless you have identical twin). However, can you list down the similarities that both you and those around you have?
One that I have come to fully accept few months ago is that just as your story would never be truly understood by others but yourself (and your therapist?), others’ would never be truly understood by you as well.
Others might share some of their stories, leaving out the deepest, bare ones. You might share more than what they are willing to, but, still, you would keep the darkest one inside.
They might have their smiles and tone up, trying to appear happy. But, alas! They failed in fooling some of you, the ones with invincible visual and audial recognition skills (and yes, having one means you are proving my point).
But, do you care to ask what they are really thinking or experiencing at that moment when you caught something off of them?
A weak, soft and hardly audible, whisper tells you that you might be able raise them from the deathbed they are on. But, some cynics once said, “Nice guys finish last,” and “You’ll never be able to help everybody.” So, you quickly dismiss your inner voice.
No. Even worse, you don’t even think it’s your business to get your hands dirty. It’s their problems and not yours. Well, your defense would be something like “Just as I don’t feel like sharing my deepest secret, I think that asking means I am intruding their personal territories, their bluish ice palace, like the one from the Disney movie, Frozen.” (Then, why don’t we re-write Frozen so that Elsa lives alone forever in her glorious but lonely palace!)
It’s not wrong to feel that way…
…It is SAD…
It’s true that some of us have full plate already. We’ve got no time to care for others. We can barely take care of ourselves! Besides, we are also not good consultants. We’re not flawless and we might be giving wrong advices. But, would it be true if I say that they don’t need us to answer their worry and that it’s our attention that matter?
Quoting from Black & Blue by Paloma Faith, “I know a man who fills his emptiness with strangers. I know people who use chat rooms as confessionals. I know people who take midnight drives for head space. I know what they’d give for just one loving embrace.”
We worry, often about ourselves. A healthy dose of it keep us from staying in our comfort zones. It might push us to look for the meaningful.
But, when it’s just too much, please share it with someone, someone whom you can trust or someone who seems to care.
And, when the thought of asking someone how he/she is occurs, do not let it evaporates. Act!
There is no darkness, but ignorance. And, as Joe Biden said, “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value,” the budget is your act.
P.S. This is the second part of my take on Make It Mighty Ugly, on naming our demons section. The first part, about our strengths/hero qualities, is covered here.
Photo credits: Gisela Giardino https://www.flickr.com/photos/gi/479194161/