With everything that’s going on right now, it can be easy to get swept into the events of the day or past months, for that matter. Unfortunately, as humans, we’re naturally wired this way.
While this occurring comes as no surprise, especially during this challenging time, there’s an important message—and opportunity—in it, if we choose to see it.
To understand what this message is, I want to take you back to my time as a teenager.
When I was fourteen, my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. As a young teenager who was just learning how to navigate life, mixed with growing up in a single-parent home, this time in my life was extremely defining—and devastating.
Devastating in the sense that my mom was the most important person in my life and she was seriously struggling. Defining, in many ways, including what I was subconsciously making up that was and wasn’t okay, living with a sick parent.
For me, while this was not the conscious or intentional message, what I made up during this time was that my mom’s world was the only thing that mattered. Inherently, with this, I was not putting myself first. (Heck, I wasn’t even on the list.) Even deeper, I was subconsciously taking on her reality, in the subconscious hope that this could save her.
Unfortunately, this choice didn’t change anything, and my mom ended up passing away my senior year of high school.
And, what’s happening in today’s world is reminding me a lot of this time, though on a much bigger scale. As part of this, I wanted to share an important message from my time as a teenager that I sense is happening to so many right now.
What is this message?
That feeling bad because another is, doesn’t change the other person’s, or our world’s, circumstances. It doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t change the outcome. And, it sure as hell doesn’t make you feel better either.
Know, too, that no amount of suffering can take away another’s or our world’s.
I can absolutely attest to this, as when I was a kid and my mom was struggling, I spent my high school years feeling her struggle, trying to take away her pain.
But, guess what?
This did not have the resulting impact that I wanted it to have. It did make me feel worse, though.
And, with everything that’s going on in our world right now, you might be going through a similar experience. Maybe you’re thinking if you take something on that will alleviate another’s pain? Maybe you think that the more you worry or the more scared you feel, while you know that it won’t change anything, that doing so helps you feel in control, maybe even feeling like something can change as a result of this? And, let’s not forget another biggie—the guilt. After all, who are you to be feeling good at all when so many are suffering right now?
Trust me, I get it. For me, my version of this right now is feeling really good, and yet hiding this from others, as it feels super insensitive to put this out there. To put it bluntly, it feels selfish.
And, yet, we must recognize that we all have our paths. And, we all go through our challenging seasons of life. For me, so much of what happened to me through my mother’s sickness and death and the eventual healing of this, has paved the way for the deep joy I am feeling right now, joy that is independent of what is happening to another or our world.
As part of this, I had to clear many patterns, patterns that included:
- Where I take on another’s pain to make them feel better or because I think it will help or change the situation.
- Where I feel guilty or wrong for feeling good.
- Where I’m only allowed to have joy when others feel good.
Does this mean I don’t feel compassion for another or don’t want to help others that are struggling or suffering? Absolutely not. It is the recognition, though, that my feeling bad or good doesn’t change anything for anyone else in our world and that:
I am more able to help when I don’t sink my own ship because another is drowning.
With that, I want to leave you with two things:
- Know that, if you are struggling right now, I am the first person who will tell you to be where you are and feel all of your feelings around it. (I share more about how to do this in this YouTube video.) With this, allow this to take you where you could otherwise not have gone, knowing on the other side, you will be able to handle the storms of life in a way you could not have previously imagined, a way that will set you free from the outer circumstances of life.
- On the flip side, if you are feeling good right now, know that this energy has the ability to lift and raise another and our world, and getting on the sinking ship does not stop the ship from going under.
Here’s to sailing at full mast.