Everybody has a shit story that we feel no one wants to hear, see or know about. I often feel that all I am supposed to show are the pretty things or the great triumphs. That people aren’t interested in the truth. In the ugly. In the totally real and human side of life. What a Lie!
I have come to an understanding that the pretty, though sometimes inspiring, can also be depressing. More often when I see others succeeding at life, when I am not, it can really bring me down. Often when all we see are the successes of others, we are more likely to just see our failures. Until our minds are in a good place, other peoples’ happy can be a serious bummer.
I believe that the ugly, nasty, terrible, sad and miserable stories are really the ones that win the day. The crap that shows that we can survive, and that drop the veil of separation, are what help and heal. The hard stories bridge the gap created by the boasts and brags.
The people that influence me most are those who have overcome the difficulties that shattered them. It’s not that they didn’t give up, most often they do, it’s that they share the crap so openly. They remind me that being human is actually perfect. Be human. Be ugly, gross and terrible. I need the approval to be as I am and to learn to be ok with it. I had to see myself in their struggles and become aware of who I was becoming because of my expectations to be better than I am. I don’t have to be better, I just have to be.
These inspirational teachers often say that they overcame their struggles and that they never gave up. I don’t see it that way. I think they really did give up. They became happier because they gave up. They gave up the expectations that others gave them. They gave up normal and went for the weird and crazy and alive. The demands and expectations of the world were what broke them. Giving that up freed them.
We need more stories of yuck. We need the honesty. This world’s priorities are broken and it will take the broken to repair it. Their is so much stigma around talking about our problems. As if talking will make it worse, but silence is what makes things worse. These stories have value. If all I see and hear are happy stories, and I am not happy, I will feel awful. Those stories highlight my failures and separate me from the world. Give me the ugly, I need it.
If I was to give my younger self any sort of advice, it would be “to be good with your awful shit.” That this is the stuff that will grow you and save you. Every struggle I have had has done more to make me a better person than any of my success. She would totally hate me for that advice. Her struggles would feel so overwhelming that being “ok with it” would be impossible. What my younger self needed was acceptance for who she was, as she was. She needed someone to listen and stories to inspire. She needed unconditional love.
I think I am an advocate for the difficult because of that need. I would like to inspire others to see hardships as perfectly human. Being a perfect human is messy. Everyone is messy and compassion will grow from that mess. So if you have a crap story and you need some one to listen, reach out. You can email me, call a close friend, or find a therapist. The best thing is to realize that these stories don’t trap you or define you, they open you and create change, if you let them. Please let them. It’s important.
Good luck with your shit and I love you, no matter what! (You may not believe that, because I don’t know you, but if someone can hate without knowing, then I can love without knowing)