Did your mother ever give you that line?
I don’t actually remember mine ever telling me to “Finish my food because someone else is starving” but I remember the notion… the saying…
Essentially- we need to be grateful for everything we have because someone is not as fortunate as us. And on the flip side I’d like to remind my mother that there are others more fortunate than me. (smiley wink face here!) But I’m not supposed to dwell on that. Because I’m supposed to be thankful for what I have.
It’s such a tricky balance. Honestly.
Last week I didn’t write a post because I could not for the LIFE OF ME, figure out what to write. I started this blog a year and a half ago and it’s all about raising Ollie. But last week I really felt pretty normal. He’s made all of these crazy advances and it’s really a joyful occasion to watch him grow. And then we left for vacation with some friends (no kids) and it was really peaceful. What is there to write about if its not crazy with Ollie? I couldn’t think of anything. Then I thought about how I whine a lot on this blog 🙂 I do. You don’t have to convince me otherwise.
Then I thought about how maybe I shouldn’t whine so much. And here’s where I begin to tie my title in so the search engines can believe me that I’m writing a post that matches the title….
Recently I followed a story about a mother that tragically watched her baby die. It takes my breath away to think of that. And then I almost can’t think of it anymore- because I cannot imagine the pain.
The grief that this momma has to work through… I mean- forget work through… just live with! For a while…? Forever…? Her life is forever changed by the beautiful anticipation of expecting this baby and then the horror of her child not living.
So how do I blog about “raising a special needs” child while someone else would just like to have a child live? Sure- my life is challenging and difficult. The insurmountable amount of work that goes into raising Ollie is unlike raising a healthy child… Okay- sure… That’s all true… But I have him… to raise… That’s something worth being thankful for. Life may be tricky… but Ollie’s here.
So I sit and think and feel… thankful in a genuine way… guilty… in a yucky way… How can I be so wreckless with life and be so annoyed, so angry, so whatever, when someone else is hurting and just wishes to be raising a child? It’s not fair for that momma 🙁
I sit here for a while with that feeling and then came to what I always come to…
I don’t live in Africa. I can’t literally send my plate of left-overs over night, to help a starving child. Are there things I can do? You bettcha. Should compassion and love be my life’s compass? Absolutely. I want my life to be about other people. But feeling the guilt of not being “thankful” enough does no one any favors- even the grieving mother… How can I care for anyone when I get self-focused with shame about not being “thankful”?! Suddenly I’m only thinking of me and how I should be…
We shouldn’t BE anything. Everyone’s lives are unique. Some may look so much easier to live. But honestly, it might not be. Everyone faces their own demons… their own weaknesses… their own imperfections.
In a vulnerable space, my stance is this: Be loved. Then love. My journey is easier than some and harder than others. I’ll say it differently… My life is harder than some and easier than others. 🙂
But even that is a moot point.
Comparing is a slippery slope. Be loved. Give love. Period.