Daily Reflection

“I’ve heard that no matter what you’re going through, someone has it worse. I don’t like that statement. I’ve never liked it. It’s emotionally dismissive, and it teaches us our personal struggles are insignificant. So, we hide, and we refuse to cry out, and we try not to burden others with our pain. Someone might have it worse, true. But we are all broken, and we are all human, and we are never alone.” (Sarah Beth McClure)

A long-distance friend of mine texted me one day recently and asked if I was free to catch up with them over the phone during an hour-long drive I was on to see another friend I visit each week. I wasn’t in the right headspace to have a conversation with them that day due to my health issues and how heightened my mental and physical suffering felt. So, I politely declined via return text, letting them know I wasn’t in the best headspace and was having a rather difficult day. I told them I didn’t want to risk getting into any heavy conversation (as many of my prior conversations with them often tend to get that way). I then asked for prayers and said I loved them, hoping they would understand. What I got in return was a message that reminded me how I had a car that had gas, with good tires, and insurance, along with a legal license, and how I was on the road to visit a friend who was looking forward to spending time with me to have a decent meal together. All of which was followed with “and you’re in bad headspace, yep, you definitely need some prayers.”

At first, I was extremely vexed at their response, and responded via text that carried much of that tone. Later, after talking it through with my partner, as well as the friend I had visited, I simply was left feeling quite sad. Sad for the amount of people that have often done this to me, whenever I’ve shared with them about the pain and suffering I continue to go through.

This experience reminded me of Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, who in the Bible showed up just after Job had gone through a tremendous amount of loss and was now sitting in great pain and suffering. They initially offer him comfort that lasts for about a week and then proceed to start lecturing him about all the things he has either done wrong to lead to his pain and suffering or is currently doing wrong that’s making it remain. Thankfully, God eventually has the last word, and strongly reminds Job’s friends how none have spoken any truth whatsoever.

What my friend and so many others never seem to understand is that reminding a person going through great pain and suffering of all that they should be grateful for, or reminding them of all those who are far worse off in their own pain and suffering, doesn’t offer the sufferer any comfort or relief that they’re desperately seeking. It truly is emotionally dismissive. I’m sure all those out there who have experienced great pain and suffering, especially those who have for long periods of time, would agree.

Nevertheless, minimizing someone’s pain and suffering by comparing it to others who may be suffering worse or attempting to point out where gratitude should be instead, isn’t being compassionate, or unconditionally loving. It’s being judgmental and saying one’s personal struggles are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

So, the next time someone opens up to you about their pain and suffering, even if they’ve done it countless times before, if you feel the need to say anything, just let them know you love them, as saying anything else is more for your own benefit than theirs, and probably only coming from your ego and not your heart…

Dear God, may I always have unconditionally loving words of support for anyone who may ever open up to me and share about any of the pain and suffering they’re going through. 

Peace, love, light, and joy
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

Here’s what the latest stock market report says, Helium was up, feathers were down. Paper was stationary. Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading. Knives were up sharply. Cows steered into a bull market. Pencils lost a few points. Hiking equipment was trailing. Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline. Weights were up in heavy trading. Light switches were off. Mining equipment hit rock bottom. Diapers remained unchanged. Shipping lines stayed at an even keel. The market for raisins dried up. Coca Cola fizzled. Caterpillar stock inched up a bit. Sun peaked at midday. Balloon prices were inflated. Scott Tissue touched a new bottom. And batteries exploded in an attempt to recharge the market…

Silly Joke #2

During work Mike and John are chatting…
Mike: “I’ve been taking night courses for five months now, and I have an exam next week.”
John: “Oh!”
Mike: “For example, do you know who Graham Bell is?”
John: “No.”
Mike: “He is the inventor of the phone in 1876. If you take night courses you would know this.”
The next day the same discussion took place:
Mike: “Do you know who Alexander Dumas is?”
John: “No.”
Mike: “He is the author of “The 3 Musketeers”. If you took night courses you would know this.”
The next day, once again:
Mike: “And do you know who Jean Jacques Rousseau is?”
John: “No.”
Mike: “He’s the author of “Confessions”, if you took night courses you would know this.”
Now this time John got irritated and said, “And do you know who Steven Turner is?”
Mike: “No.”
John: “He’s the guy sleeping with your wife! If you’d stop taking night classes you would know this!”

Silly Joke #3

A monkey is sitting in a tree smoking a joint when a lizard walks past and looks up and says to the monkey, “Hey! What are you doing?” The monkey says, “Smoking a joint, come up and have some.” So the lizard climbs up and sits next to the monkey and they have a few tokes together. After a while the lizard says his mouth is way too dry and that he’s going to get a drink from the river. The lizard climbs down the tree, ditty bops on thru the jungle to the river and leans over the river to get his drink. Well, the lizard is so stoned that he leans too far over and falls into the river. A Crocodile sees this and swims over to the lizard and helps him to the side, then asks the lizard, “What’s the matter with you?” The lizard explains to the crocodile that he was sitting in a tree and smoking a joint with the monkey and got too stoned and then fell into the river while taking a drink. The crocodile says he’s gotta check this hippie monkey out and walks off into the jungle where he finds the tree where the monkey is still sitting and toking on the joint. He looks up and says “Hey you!” The Monkey looks down and says, “whoaaaaaaa dude!!!!…………How much water did you drink?!!”

Bonus Silly Joke

All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was the one in charge. “I should be in charge,” said the brain, “Because I run all the body’s systems, so without me nothing would happen.” “I should be in charge,” said the blood, “Because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you’d all waste away.” “I should be in charge,” said the stomach,” Because I process food and give all of you energy.” “I should be in charge,” said the legs, “because I carry the body wherever it needs to go.” “I should be in charge,” said the eyes, “Because I allow the body to see where it goes.” “I should be in charge,” said the rectum, “Because I’m responsible for waste removal.” All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight. Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood was toxic. They all decided that the rectum should be the boss. The moral of the story? Even though the others do all the work… The @$$hole is usually in charge.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson