Friday, March 4, 2016

Be Compassionate. Life is Hard.

Before you enter into a circumstance of life, it is common and easy to judge - rather harshly - those who have.  Outside looking in, they shouldn't do this and if they had a clue they would do that, right?  I've done it all - dating, marriage, pregnancy, children, etc.  Kids are the easiest to evaluate because their actions directly affect anyone in it's path, whether we like it or not.  One of the most common conversations I had for a while was with people without kids about parents (specifically moms) complaining about how hard their job was or always desperate to get away from their kids.  "You chose to have children, in most cases, so you don't get the right to just complain about them.  You picked this role so deal with it."  Some people are more compassionate to the circumstance than others, but it stood to reason in my mind that obviously this complaining was a lazy man's coping mechanism and well I would just be better than that when it was my turn.  Right? ;)

Yesterday, I think I read something about how complaining isn't good for your health and it is likely to be true.  Complaining about your boss or your kids or anything else isn't a healthy practice to have.  What I do believe is that this adult/marriage/parenting thing is waaay harder than any of us bargained for.  Most things seem doable on the showroom floor, outside real life where there aren't 7 other things happening simultaneously.  But suddenly here we are with reality punching us in the gut and so we start talking about it.  And then I start sounding exactly like that person I rolled my eyes at many moons ago that obviously was just doing life wrong because life isn't supposed to be that hard.

Real life

Grocery shopping day is a beating.

Be compassionate.  In our culture, we want it all and right now.  We expect things to be isolated and distinct, with clear expectations and no detours.  But living life with people doesn't usually work that way.  Tragedies strike to change a perfect setup.  Getting what you need in life often takes a good amount of time and sacrifice.  And even then, you would be surprised at the things that absolutely control life (rather than you).  Once this adulting is kicked into high gear, you learn things about yourself that inconvenience the daylights out of you.  Like how foggy your brain is if you don't exercise, but feel like you only have time to shower or exercise - not both! Or being a fabulous parent comes naturally to you until money gets tight or your spouse has to work late several nights in a row and then you just want to hide.  My favorite (because it is so true sometimes) is how perfect my marriage is until my spouse stops doing life my way!

Life is hard sometimes.

Life is just more complicated than we can ever imagine at first.  Be compassionate.  It's like deciding to ride the scariest, most loop-dee-loop roller coaster, ready for the wild adventure only to find out that on roller coasters like this, you get totally motion sick and throw up.  Be compassionate because life is a lot of trial and error.  Be compassionate when the complaining starts.  Be compassionate when the failing starts.  Despite all of the proper warning signs, sometimes in life we just didn't expect it and are now in shock.  Be compassionate.  Compassion should never justify wrong-doing or validate bad choices, but compassion demonstrates friendship and support.  Especially when we have completely made a mess of our life, we need (not necessarily deserve) compassion.

Adulting is hard.  Be compassionate.

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