Just yesterday I was reading about a fresco that was being restored and in the process, the colors revealed were much brighter and more colorful than anticipated. It was debated as to whether they should continue to restore and reveal the more vibrant colors or keep it dark and familiar. I don’t know what the final verdict was, but the story was being compared to how we can treat our own inner “restorations”; what we allow to be revitalized or renewed, or what we would rather keep covered.
As with most of my blog entries, this one originated from an aha moment I received somewhere over the last several months. When we compare our lives to someone else, it’s very easy to go one of two ways: either “they have it way better than me” or “I’m really not that bad off after all”. The first one is generally slathered in envy and the second could sound either grateful or prideful. When we focus on the latter, there is sometimes a temptation to downplay one’s own struggles or life experiences.
“Oh, I haven’t had it as bad as her/him”
“I don’t really have anything to complain about”
“My childhood really wasn’t that bad compared to theirs”
Do any of those sound familiar? They have been engrained in my brain for at least a decade as I’ve muddled through mental health counseling. Unbeknownst to me, I carried a fanny pack of guilt that told me I should just get over this already because I shouldn’t need, AKA don’t deserve, to seek counseling. It wasn’t until recently when I heard someone say that the healthier route is to validate our hurts. True, maybe ours aren’t as “awful” as someone else, but they could still be impacting our choices even today. I’d encourage you to recognize the wounds, big and small, that bother you. Don’t minimize them or push them away. I don’t mean we should put all of our focus on our hurts and dwell or discuss them all the time, but respect them for what they are. Just like the fresco, you deserve to be restored and revitalized, too. If we give respect to our hurts and honor them by doing so, maybe we can lay them down in a healthy way that may free us up to live lighter. Get a bit of counseling if you think it may help. I personally believe that every single human being should seek occasional counseling to help us “stay on top of our game” in life. It has the potential to give us perspective on circumstances, relationships, goals, etc. You are worthy.