A couple of days ago a friend of mine posted a video on Facebook. The video was about six minutes of an image of sleet falling outside of her window while she narrated just how difficult life has become/is and how it seems to be an unending series of challenges punctuated by small, short victories. She shot the video on a whim, no script, just impromptu musings about her life. I’m not sure what she meant to accomplish by posting it, if anything. But, I’m glad she posted it.
She spoke of feeling as if everyone else had it together except her. As she watches people walk by, it seems like they are getting along just fine while her entire world is falling apart. Everyone looks like they have it together except her. As I listened to her words, they resonated with me at a deep level. I know this feeling. I’ve felt it off and on, one way or another, my entire life. I’ve felt like I was just getting by, an imposter of sorts, while everyone else is thriving at life, just breezing through. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized many of us, maybe most of us, feel this way. We are taught to hide it, though. Don’t show weakness. Don’t be sad. Suck it up. If something’s wrong, fix it, medicate it or just keep it to yourself.
As I watched her video, I thought of a few more people I know who are feeling the exact same way. I think she made the video feeling alone, but she’s not alone. I thought of several other people I’d like to share the video with. They say that misery loves company. I think that’s because the thing that is the worst thing about being human is being alone. When we are in misery, we often feel alone, abandoned and, for some reason, unique. But, not unique in a good way. Unique in a way that we are the only ones to ever have had to endure this set of circumstances so no one else can understand our plight. Somehow the knowledge that someone else has felt or is feeling the same way lifts us just a little bit and allows us to endure. If they can endure this, maybe we can, too.
As I watched her video, I thought of her as a fellow traveler. We chose this life. We chose to come to this place. There is a reason that we once knew and that we have forgotten. The suffering is not in vain. It does not go unnoticed. It is not without purpose. We are on a mission with fellow soldiers, each assigned to our part of the greater mission. I know she feels like she’s not accomplishing her mission right now, but she is. She feels like she’s failed, but the fact that she is still getting up, still trying, still reaching out, means she is not failing. The mission is on-going. We’re all in this together and we’ll all get home- someday.