If we knew what was really going on…

Read this today and just had to share:

Something that has become clear in the last couple of weeks: so many people, I would even say most of us, are dealing with brokenness and crapstorms and situations and things falling apart, but we look fine on the outside. We know how to camouflage into a world that prefers everything on the rails. We know how to say “fine, thanks” and act normal enough to pass.

Sometimes we don’t know how to explain our truths, sometimes we are afraid of the inevitable reaction, sometimes we don’t want to admit where we are actually at.

If we knew what was really going on, we would be so much kinder, gentler, and more understanding with each other. We would understand that fear sometimes looks like anger, and that sadness sometimes looks like cool detachment, and that pain sometimes looks like cynicism. The exaggerated reaction usually belies something very raw underneath.

We would be less careless with our words and ideologies and blanket statements and casual judgments, because we would understand that the wounded are constantly among us. Sometimes they are sitting right next to us pretending to smile and nod while we nonchalantly pour salt into a hidden wound. Or we are the wounded, holding back tears and trying to blend into our environment.

Life is hard and people are struggling. We would do well to assume most folks are far more tender than they are letting on. We should treat people with a disproportionate amount of grace, because the worst thing that could happen ISN’T that they didn’t really need it when we offered it…but that they really did need it and we failed to notice.

–Jen Hatmaker, author

This made me think. If it’s one thing that has changed in me since having a miscarriage, and since getting to know so many others who have had a loss or fertility-related struggle of some kind, it’s becoming more and more aware that so many people are struggling with big things we don’t even know about. And most don’t even let on that it’s happening. It just is.

I hope I am reminded of the above constantly. I hope I will always remember why I went through my loss — to show empathy, kindness, gentleness, and love to other people, plain and simple. Especially to the ones that seem “fine.”

For what it’s worth, my “friends” on Facebook probably have always assumed I am just “fine.” I have only shown the good, for the most part. Think of how many other people do that.