We Are All a Mess

A big hot mess is no way to describe a person, but it has been pretty common in some survivor circles. It seems to me that every single person alive has been a big hot mess at one time or another. No one has it all together all the time.

Life is like the surface of the earth. High mountains are surrounded by valleys. At one time, you might be having the time of your life and celebrating every second of it. It might be an event, like a wedding or getting a new job, or it could be finally getting acclimated to the spouse or the career choice. Maybe you are on vacation or have a retreat experience. It could last a few days or a few years, but sad to say, it is always temporary. Mountaintops are great, but no one stays forever.

There are also bogs and volcanoes, mire and deep dark wooded places. We might get stuck in a rut of despair or frustrated by obstacles that seem insurmountable. Perhaps, fear of change or a dreaded diagnosis hits. The sudden death of a loved one or the slow painful track of another comes into the lives of most people at least once. Failure is inevitable, if you are doing anything. The bigger the thing, the harder the fall.

Businesses and relationships, projects and positions all require lots of work to maintain, but are partially outside of our ability to control. Abuse survivors tend to be just like everyone else in this way, but because of our past trauma, we might feel like a victim again.

You don’t have to have suffered trauma to have a subtle tendency to feel like the world revolves around you. Lots of people have very mild circumstances growing up see everything as it relates to themselves directly. “It’s not about you,” was huge for me. I know people who get all up in other people’s business, because they can see faults or deficits in the other person’s life. They ignore their own baggage and give advice. Advice that is most often not requested. Or worse, they assume positions of power and make laws or policy that dictates their ‘advice’.

Elitism has degrees. One hot-mess sibling telling another what to do with their lives, when the first is not in a great place, is elitist. But even if the sibling giving the advice is in a good place, they don’t know what is best for another, because their own situation will change too. We cannot think for other people -evah.

There is need to correct and encourage, if you have access and permission, but remembering that we all have our own path to follow and that we all have times when everything seems to fall apart is super important. When we keep this vital perspective, we can extend grace. A gracious correction or encouragement means more. It is given from a heart of compassion. You don’t have to have been there, done that. Empathy is learned.

We are all a mess, at one time or another. Let’s remember to always be kind. Everyone needs kindness, especially we, ourselves. If you have suffered abuse, you might be extra hard on yourself or you might be extra hard on others. Being soft and gentle brings peace to you and those you love. Trauma happens in every life, but it shouldn’t be a life sentence.

Get up and try again when you fail. Be tenderhearted when others fail. Perspective is everything.

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