I've been learning a lot about myself lately---things I never would've thought of without the help of another person. I'm incredibly grateful to be able to receive help in so many different forms from so many different people.
I know I've mentioned that I still get lonely, even when I know I'm surrounded by some of the most loving people. The thing is, I recognize how much people love me but it's hard to understand that until I learn to love me like they love me.
I struggle---a lot---with beauty and what defines beauty. I find myself looking at the world's definition of beauty and thinking I need to fit that mold but ironically, I've never been one who liked fitting into molds.
I've been marching to the beat of my own drum since I was a kid so I hate that I let myself believe I'm not good enough as is. I grew up very proud of who I was and what I was becoming and yet, I like the girl I am now better than the girl I was then. So why do I struggle?
Why do any of us struggle? Why are we so much harder on ourselves than we are on others?
Blogging is so therapeutic and yet, so weird at the same time. I often get asked by people what they can do for me and how they can help me. The answer is simple: you can't fix this. I know it sounds harsh but there are no magical potions or puzzle pieces you can place that will fix how I feel. That's the truth with all people that struggle.
But if you want to help someone you love, I'd be hapy to give you my two cents on what helps and what doesn't help.
*You can pray. Prayer is real and it works. Praying for someone you love and know is struggling will help them.
*Be available when you can but don't be there when you can't. Your friend may need you but they don't need to be taking you away from your own needs and families. I like to rotate friends when I feel I need someone because I don't want to burn anyone out. It's hard to hear negative things or have to help someone who is emotional and that's ok to not be able to do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn't mean you don't love your friends. When you can't be with them, pray for them. :)
*Listen. When you have a friend who needs to talk, they know you can't fix their problems but it is always helpful to have someone who will listen. Often times, advice doesn't help because advice is very opinionated and ends up making the person feel worse. One of my least favorite things to hear when going through infertility was "Just relax and it'll happen" as if relaxing could magically cure the diagnosis my doctor had given me. I knew those people were trying to help but it always made me feel like if there was something I could be doing that I wasn't doing, I must be pretty dumb. It never helped me feel better and trust me, relaxing didn't get me pregnant so...
*Pray some more for them.
*Don't judge them. It's hard enough being the friend who wants to trust someone with their heartache but it's even harder when you're worried that you'll be judged for your feelings. People need love, a lot of love, and judging them for their struggles does no good for either one of you.
But I will say this---I have faith that it is going to get better. Maybe not today, tomorrow, or even this month but I have faith that in time, everything is going to be just fine. And I hold onto that faith with a very strong grip because it's the only thing getting me through right now.
I may not want to talk and I may want to. That's the reality of heartache. Some days, I'm open and other days, it's all inside because I need a moment to pretend I don't feel this way. So I'm sorry if I'm confusing. I'm just trying to figure this all out.