Beliefs About Ourselves
A Parallel Life Lesson


Life is not always easy, as we unshockingly know. Sometimes it's downright tragic. I think we've all been thru some form of pain or tragedy in our lives, as it just goes along with breathing. We lose a parent (or both) way too young, have a trying or abusive childhood that doesn't seem fair, or can't seem to get ahead financially and just when we think we are going to pay some bills off, the car breaks down or we need a whole new set of tires all going on the credit card. And for some, this might be the best case scenario.

I think it's easy to say to someone that they have to look on the bright side, that things really could be worse. It's also not something we want someone to say to us when we're in the midst of our drama, for lack of a better word. How does someone really know how someone else feels? And is it really fair to suggest that you need to get over something horrible, especially if it's in another person's "time frame" to get over?

Having said all of this, simply, people really do go to the same party and have a different experience. My first husband was sure he was born to the wrong parents, yet in talking to his brother, the brother didn't see it that way. What was the difference? Both had the same parents, lived in the same house, yet one sibling had very little good to say about his upbringing, while the other sibling missed all of the abuse, alcoholism, mean-spiritedness & parental neglect. I always wondered how that could happen because I actually liked my in-laws. In my mind, one's glass was truly over-flowing and the other's was bone-dry. Was there something the one sibling could have done to feel different about his experience? I suppose. Or, the other? Maybe he was just in flat-out denial about how horrible his childhood really was.

I had a dear friend tell me years ago after my husband was killed that she felt I had a very bad childhood. I looked at her like she was on crack. Granted, I was devastated by the loss of my husband, but this comment was so out in left field for me. I really thought I had a cool childhood. We went on vacations some 5 times a year, not counting going to our mountain AND desert cabin on any given weekend; we had a pool, I could work for my father in my own backyard and make money to ride rent horses & buy LPs; I took ballet, tap & jazz classes to my heart's content; I could stay in my room & draw as my mom said I could learn how to cook & clean later when I was older (I did); I went to college & graduated; I had a very wonderful mom, who was my best friend. What was bad about it? I know what my friend was talking about, and I would not go into details here because shit happens to all of us. But, my feeling was that I could choose to feel horrible about things, or not. I chose the later. I chose to feel blessed for all that I did have and continue to this day. It's just better for me.

So regardless if someone else thinks you should not be such a whiner, it's really not up to them to decide on how you should feel in a bad situation. It is up to you and only you can change that about yourself. Those blessings are really there, but you have to find them yourself and own them. When you do, you will probably find it really is better......


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