Have you ever been afraid to say how you really feel in any given situation because of the way you know it will be perceived?
Like me, you’ve either heard, “What you have to be stressed about? You don’t know what stress is…” or “You tired? I work more than you and you don’t see me complaining.”
Trust me, I know.
Essentially though, another person’s ability to cope with their pain and challenges in a way that may seem ‘better’ to them than you do, does not discount the way you feel and maneuvre emotions of pain, anger, grief, or heartbreak in your own way.
It’s my experience sometimes, that persons put in positions to help our youth through challenges of life and spirituality are also those that condemn us the most and make us feel guilty for the emotions we feel while citing aptly researched and revised scriptures to benefit their cause.
In truth, more likely than not, all that is needed to be heard is ‘it’s okay, I hear you, I love you and Jesus loves you and He’ll never leave you… we can deal with everything else as we go along…’
Everyone has a great deal on their plate on any given day. Unfortunately, though, some fail to realise that one person may have a strong, sturdy ceramic dinner plate, able to hold a Christmas-worthy feast ten times over, while some have lackluster plastic plates meant to be discarded after one use… and others are working with paper plates or even flimsy paper bags that fall apart or rip at the slightest touch.
Very few are posting their struggle, or their daily battle with anxiety and depression, the amount of pain behind fake smiles, their unkindness, or even their terrible ugly attitudes and projections of their fears and failures on to you and others.
The teenage boy that you may be calling lazy may be battling depression and hates himself because he isn’t able to understand Math the way the rest of the class does and feels like he’s a disappointment to his parents and family.
The young girl that you look at and call prude, or the opposite, maybe the one not wanting to go home to face the father, uncle, brother, or cousin that’s been molesting her for years and is unable to look at herself in the mirror without breaking down because of the shame eating at her every day.
The young person you look at say, ‘Hmm, it must be nice having mummy and daddy to buy you a brand-new shiny car’, might be the one that left an abusive home, that has no parents and had to work hard, long days and nights to achieve that small feat.
Be careful who you pass judgment on when they are walking through something that you are only a spectator to from a distance.
At the end of all of this, on ‘judgment day, as some like to call it, God is not going to award you the biggest prize for building the biggest house in your neighborhood, for the grand amount in your bank account, or even for how high a position you held at church.
He’s going to ask if you were kind; if you forgave as you expect to be forgiven; if you loved without expectation, and if and how you used what He gave you, and the things that He led you through, to help others along the way.
By Ashley Chin Aleong