Am I the only one that’s a mess?
The other day while doing some gardening in my backyard, I was reminded about a daisy that grew there a few years ago. This one little flower was memorable because it stood by itself worn and tattered. Just past it stood beautiful bunch of daisies with bright white petals. The bunch looked so perfect in stark contrast to the tattered one. I almost felt a twinge of sadness for the lonely daisy. Clearly life for the small flower had been a challenge.
The scene brought back memories of a time that I felt like that daisy appeared – like I was the only one weary and worn, the only one who didn’t have it all together, or the only one whose life didn’t quite go as planned or look like we think it should. In life, it’s all too easy to look at family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors and think they have it all together. If only our lives could be more like theirs.
After taking a picture of the lone flower, I decided I wanted one of the pretty bunch too. Stepping closer I snapped a quick photo. As my eyes focused, I was surprised by what I saw. That same group of daisies that appeared so pristine from a distant was also tattered, worn, and broken.
I smiled. How like life is that? We feel like we’re the only ones who have been beaten down by our life’s journey. We often feel as though we’re the only ones whose life is less than perfect. But, when we get close enough to those around us, we see that they too have struggled. They too have been broken. And just like us, they aren’t perfect despite appearances from afar.
When you find yourself struggling and feel broken rest assured, you are not alone. Although everyone’s challenges are different, we have all been weathered a bit by life at some point in our journey – it just isn’t always visible from a distance.
Proof it’s not just you:
You don’t have to look deep into statistics to realize there are people all around dealing with all kinds of issues. It could be relational, financial, health, emotional, or pressure to fit it or succeed. These few statistics let you know, it’s not just you. I could have made this list much longer and included many more areas of struggles. Maybe I’ve listed what has challenged you, or perhaps not. Either way, let this remind you that you are not alone!
- 98% of teen girls feel pressure about their appearance.
- 14% of adults surveyed feel chronically overwhelmed.
- Depression affects 16.2 million adults in the US.
- Anxiety affects 6.8 million adults in the US.
- OCD affects 2.2 million adults in the US.
- 50% of marriages are ending in divorce.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
- 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by a partner.
- 74% of girls say they’re under pressure to please everyone.
- Approximately 38% of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
4 Things to remember when you think it’s just you:
1. Get connected.
The tattered flower was just like the others, it was just standing alone. Together the imperfect flowers formed a beautiful bunch. When we feel less than perfect, we’re all the more likely to fit in with those around us! We need to stop worrying about being accepted by others and accept ourselves. When we allow others to see us for who we are, we can thrive. Choose to use your energy to grow stronger rather than using it to hide behind a facade. Get connected or reconnected to friends and family who can be your “bunch.” Or maybe you need to enlist the aid of a counselor or support group so that you don’t stand alone. Make and keep connections!
2. Decide to be grateful.
Don’t pretend things aren’t difficult or have been tough in the past. Instead choose today and each and every day to find something in your path to be grateful for in spite of your challenges. Today it might be the sun is shining. Or if it’s raining, you don’t need to water your garden. On the day I found the flowers, I was thankful that I stepped close to the bunch and saw their imperfections. It gave me a valuable reminder that we can bloom and be beautiful despite life’s difficulties. What are you thankful for today?
3. Recognize that you are needed!
Every day you encounter people hiding behind a smile feeling like that lone flower. Smile, encourage them. You may never know who is that person. But if you approach your day looking for a way to help others, you will make a difference. Pay encouragement forward. Maybe it’s taking a meal to someone recovering from an illness, or mowing the lawn for an elderly neighbor, or sincerely wishing the cashier a great day. Get creative and do something! It’s a win-win. You’ll feel better and help them in the process.
4. Don’t forget your faith.
When times are tough, don’t question your faith, rely upon it. A few good verses to memorize are:
- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
- He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3
It’s your turn:
Have you ever felt like that daisy? Would being a little vulnerable help you stand stronger while providing valuable support to someone else who feels tattered? Share your story where appropriate. Refuse to let others feel lonely when they’re in your circle of influence. Let them know they are not alone. Remind yourself you are are not alone. Share this post to remind your friends and family that they matter and they’re never alone!
Together we make a beautiful, imperfect, brilliant bunch!
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