I was recently having a conversation with a friend about being grateful. She was complaining about typical issues we all have and it was getting to be a bit much. It was hard to keep the conversation going because it was much more about poor me, than anything else. I totally get it, we all have our shit. I have days where I just want to complain all day too. But what happens when you begin to complain more than not? What happens when that becomes a daily habit?
You become less grateful, less happy. The world starts to feel so much darker then it did before. It's so easy to get caught up in our everyday chaos. It's easy to allow someone who cut you off on the parkway ruin the next hour of your day. But it's also easy to let it go. No one has power over you, unless you give it to them. If you live by those words, you'd never let another individual make you feel anything less than.
I believe that we all have our stories. Sure some people may have had an easier life than others, but we all go through the mud at some point in our lives. But it's how we choose to perceive it that makes all the difference. When I consistently listened to my friend, it began to make me not want to speak to her. The conversation was filled with so much negativity I had felt like the only thing I could do was distance myself. But the truth is, that isn't helping anyone either. We live in a world where, if the going gets tough we run. There is always a replacement, the newest shiny thing that comes out next. But what about what we already have? Why can't we fix the problem at hand? So I decided not to hide and say something. And the most beautiful thing happened.
I said "it sounds like you're going through a lot, do you want to talk about it?". Her entire mood instantly changed. She did want to talk about it. She needed advice and didn't know how to ask for it, so her approach was complaining until someone asked. No we are not all perfect and maybe that's not how I would have gone about it, but that isn't the point. The point is, we got to talk about what was really bothering her. We got to discuss options on how we can make what she's going through, better. She became grateful for our friendship, grateful that she had someone who was willing to listen and help, and grateful that her problems weren't as bad as they felt.
We're human, sometimes all we need is a shoulder to cry on. Be that person for those who may need it.