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“There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment.”    Robert Brault

 “every sunrise is an invitation for us to rise and brighten someone’s day.  Richelle E. Goodrich

I recently heard from a young friend that her parents were getting a divorce. They had been married over 25 yrs. My friend is married yet so very hurt, and yes traumatized. It might seem crazy but divorce hurts the children, regardless of their age. It brings it back to relationships and understanding.

At times, we just don’t understand others motives, words or actions. Many times we jump to conclusions that are not true. As a daughter-in-law, I remember times when I felt the cold shoulder from my mother-in-law, and I would think hard about what I might have done to cause it. Now that I am a mother-in-law, I wonder why my daughters-in-law at times, are so quiet. I sat down one day and laughed because it occurred to me that maybe they had just had a fight with their husband, or somebody else, and their attitudes had nothing to do with me.We assume everything is about us. but if we reflect enough, we realize that the world is not revolving around any of us. Others are not pondering what we do or say. We should not take brashness to heart. It might be coming from so many places and our mother-in-law,  and daughter-in-law relationship, does not need this pressure. Believing we are on safe ground with our in-laws, allows us the freedom to relax and trust in the relationship. Entertaining thoughts of skepticism, breeds suspicion and doubt. If everything we say and do is never ever done with any malice or revenge, then we are secure in an honest trustworthy situation. Let the awkward moods pass unnoticed. We all have bad days.

It is difficult to comprehend the suffering another endures, when dealing with an illness. The trauma of the death or a divorce of a spouse can rip open our hearts. Watching our kids suffer from lack of food or warmth is overwhelming. Fearing our spouse’s anger, and violence due to a job loss, is demolishing. The anxious moments experienced as we endure a loved one’s deterioration from an addiction, is defeating. In all of the other less dramatic, but moderately stress producing situations, we step and falter while trying  to move on. How good we all are at hiding our thoughts and fears.

Some of us even analyze our situation and then conclude We have no right to complain about our troubles, because it isn’t important enough to count. This is absurd, because anything that brings pain, needs to be brought to the attention of others. As was said before, at times it is the accumulation of burdens, that disrupts our lives. When someone voices their pain and troubles, make an effort to help, simply by listening. It is not time to judge or compare.

We are  not alone, and we can learn empathy, by reflecting on a person’s dilemmas. The more empathetic people we have in the world, the less we are moving towards getting our feelings stepped on. There will also be more listening ears and less stress. Sympathy can never be underestimated, but our survival depends on compassion and kindness. I am still of the opinion that physical contact, or even voice contact, is the best because you observe the facial expressions and engage with the voice. The energy  transfers to us and is uplifting.

Dreadful situations attack everyone. Although the suffering differs, the similarities are not. We all need food, clothing, shelter, acceptance, pride, work and love. When any of these are attacked, we become fearful and unsure of our next move. Although we feel we are alone, we have a common bond with the rest of the world. Sometimes I wonder if we have sheltered ourselves from the physical presence of others. We receive so much information regarding numerous other people through technology, yet it allows us a limited time to sincerely respond to anyone who may need us.

In order to understand other people’s problems, we must recall our own issues that are similar. As we get better at this, we begin to realize how similar we are. We all  have emotional, physical and spiritual pain. It differs in some respects, but correlates in most ways. As we age, most of us lose parents. No one is ever ready. Coping is hard, and we all have our own unique memories, that often return, and remind us of our loss.

When we have come through a difficult situation, we might venture to offer sympathy to another, who is newly experiencing the painful episode. Offering support is never a waste of our time. Whenever any of us is experiencing a difficult period, it should warrant our attention. We should never ignore a cry help.

 By wrapping our sympathy around our empathy, we dig deeper into a person’s soul. It makes us one in understanding each other, without having to experience all the same problems. In a way we begin to sense what another feels, allowing us to empathize with the pain. I believe the more we are able to identify with others, in happiness and pain, the more we realize we are alike.

Carefree teens eventually become responsible adults. Parents become grandparents. The game of life passes and turns swiftly. It is up to us to make the most of it, while it is possible. Nobody is ahead of us or behind. Everyone’s road has its obstacles, and it is easier if we work together to remove a few. That makes the  load  lighter. All it takes is for us to recognize each other as an extension of ourselves. By reaching that point, we perhaps would find it impossible to pass another being without giving aid.

“If you avoid all of life’s abrasions, you will never be polished enough to shine.” Richelle E. Goodrich

“Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give in. Don’t ever stop trying. Don’t ever sell out. And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off. But never, ever, ever give up.” Richelle E. Goodrich

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