Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Hard Battle

It's almost funny how many posts I have started, but have yet to finish...it's not that I don't want to write, it just seems that I'll write just enough to feel a little better then I lose motivation and leave it for another day.  Fortunately for me, this entry pretty much wrote itself entirely in my head while I was trying to fall asleep today.  What that told me was that it was clearly what I was meant to write about.

I had a conversation with a coworker recently about a client that she knew from high school.  She remembered that when she used to know her, the girl was almost always mean to everyone around her; it turns out that the girl had been sexually assaulted repeatedly by her father for most of her life.  No wonder she wasn't a terribly pleasant person - her life at home was essentially hell.  But for those who knew her only peripherally, you just saw the hatefulness that she put out there for others to see.

That got me thinking about how what we put out there for others to see can be so very different from what we are actually feeling inside.  In that young girl's case, she probably was angry inside...but she was likely also scared, ashamed, humiliated and broken.  What about others that you encounter in your everyday life?

That frustrated mother at Wal-Mart who just snapped at her kid for smashing the bread? - Maybe her husband just left and she is struggling to juggle everything by herself.

That old man in front of you in line at the grocery store who's making you late for work because he's telling the clerk all about the dog he's buying food for?  - Maybe his wife passed away recently and he's got no one else to talk to.

That kid who is throwing his food on the floor at the restaurant and having a complete meltdown?  - Maybe he hasn't gotten much sleep lately because his parents are always fighting in the bedroom next door.

It is so easy to roll your eyes at that mother, or sigh at the man in front of you, or give hateful looks to the noisy kid...but instead, take a minute to take a deep breath, give each one a sincere smile and thank God for the blessings you have in your life.

For me, right now, I probably look pretty normal to anyone who sees me in my daily life.  Even with the dark bags under my eyes and my perpetual hooded sweatshirt, I don't look too different from any other pregnant mother of two young children.  It's pretty intentional...even when my hair is in a sloppy ponytail and my shoes don't match my shirt, it has taken a lot of effort to look as normal as I do most days.  Because on the inside, there are days where I am about one smashed loaf of bread from completely falling apart.  Don't get me wrong, all things considered...I think we're doing pretty well, but even that's relative.

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