There is not a single person on this earth whose life is perfect, despite the illusions of a “perfect” life. Everyone experiences troubles, turmoil, and tragedies. Everybody has had moments where their life seems to crumble into dust. Be it the death of a loved one, illness, divorce, victimization, or the loss of a job.
No one is immune to these situations. They can and do happen to anyone. In fact, more than likely the majority of people will be touched by more than one such experience, often when they least expect them.
Self-Judgment During Tough Times
Despite the fact that everyone experiences suffering in some form or another throughout their lives, such experiences tend to be tainted with judgment, specifically self-judgement.
A divorce insinuates a failure to be able to “make it work.” The loss of a job suggests that the individual didn’t make him or herself valuable enough to upper management to warrant keeping their jobs. The person who has AIDS may be perceived as having made bad life decisions or worse, in some cultures, it may be perceived that they’re being “punished” by God.
Although the majority of people aren’t usually vocal or openly cruel about judging others when bad things happen, when it comes to their own tragedies many are their own worst enemy. In day to day life, these people will simply ignore the blowhard that complains that those on disability are costing tax payers money.
However, the moment something “bad” happens, somehow the amplitude of those blowhards’ voice gets turned up. Suddenly, these average moral individuals try to figure out what another person “did wrong” to deserve a horrible fate.
Soon, they come up with all sorts of scenarios about what they should have done or even manage to convince themselves that God is punishing them for some sin they’ve committed.
The Shame of Difficult Life Experiences
It is at this point, that many people begin to feel ashamed. Logically, these people know that they need the support of their friends, family, colleagues, and community now more than ever before. However, they assume that they will be judged as harshly by others as they’ve done to themselves.
To protect themselves, they isolate and try to hide the truth of their difficulties from others. This only serves to intensify the feelings of shame, judgment, and isolation.
It would be wonderful to be able to say that these people only need to ask and others will understand but the truth is that it is during the tough times that everyone discovers their true friends.
The truth that if a friend can only see another person’s light when things are good, they aren’t going to be much support during the rough times.
The most important thing to remember is that having difficult experiences does not automatically label anyone as being a terrible person. Life happens to everyone. Bad things happen to good people. Such times are not a punishment for sins.
Though it is scary, reach out to others. Be especially thankful for those true friends. Then, be there for others when it’s their turn for troubles.