When we are struggling to cope with the things that life throws at us, it’s easy to think that the whole universe is conspiring against us. We know it’s not true. It simply feels that way.
I spoke with a woman, last weekend, who raised this very issue, but from a more balanced point of view. She rightly pointed out that she feels that despite trying to do good to others, bad things keep happening in her life. But then she explained that when she sees what some people have to endure she realises that she’s not so badly off, after all.
It’s a lesson we should all learn. I’m not suggesting the concept that some people have: That there is always someone worse off than us. If that was true then who is in a worse position than the person in the worst position? It’s a specious argument that only wastes time in pointless reverie. It leads to no real gain. I’m sorry if you believe in such a form of meditation but I’ll cover that in another article.
Yet we do need to be realistic. Our problems are real. They do exist. And they do cause anxiety. But we need to be careful not to see the whole of our lives in one day’s worries. Yes, we have problems, and yes they may be long term. But consider this: If you made an appointment with a doctor, a bank manager, a counsellor, or any sort of advisor, how many other people would be visiting the same consultant within hours, or even minutes of your appointment? Why? Because we are not alone.
Ok. Let’s accept that our problems are real and they cause anxiety. But look around you. All those people also have problems. Maybe they are not the same as yours. But to those people they are just as worrying. Whether it’s chronic illness or chronic finances, it’s just as worrying.
What makes the difference between coping and not coping is our viewpoint. We could turn inward and think that we are alone. Or we could look around us and appreciate that everyone else is suffering in some way, too.