I don’t know your pain.


Sometimes I get inspiration from my little posts on facebook. Sometimes I get inspiration for little posts on facebook from my blog. This is a bit of both.

A blog post with the above title was started on the 20th of May. Five days later, I think the original thoughts are finally gelling. All from a facebook post I made yesterday.

I don’t know your pain. I only know my own. I can, however, listen when you need it, advise when you want it, and care for you always, because I call you friend.

There it is. The original idea behind this was that I have a number of friends going through some difficult times right now. I was able to listen to their description of pain and sorrow. I offered a bit of advice when asked. And through it all I think I became a better person.

It takes a lot to try to ignore or temper your own sorrows when dealing with the problems of others. Your problems. sorrows, worries are of the utmost importance to you. Nothing can be bigger or more intense than the situation you are in . These are your feelings and are rightfully justified.

That being said, if a person shares their situation with you, their problems are going to be bigger than yours, at least in their eyes. To be a truly caring individual, you need to look past your problems and listen to what your friend needs to share. There are times when this cannot be done. In those times, you should beg the others indulgence and say you are at best willing to listen, but advice would not be the best from you right now. Good friends will be able to understand this. There is never a good time to be in a war of who has the worse problems.

And through all of this, maybe you will be able to see that other peoples problems can be bigger and even more intense than your own. Then we come to true understanding of the people we share our lives with.

And that leads me to one of my favorite movie quotes. From the movie “Harvey”:

Elwood P. Dowd: Harvey and I sit in the bars… have a drink or two… play the juke box. And soon the faces of all the other people they turn toward mine and they smile. And they’re saying, “We don’t know your name, mister, but you’re a very nice fella.” Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We’ve entered as strangers – soon we have friends. And they come over… and they sit with us… and they drink with us… and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they’ve done and the big wonderful things they’ll do. Their hopes, and their regrets, and their loves, and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. And then I introduce them to Harvey… and he’s bigger and grander than anything they offer me. And when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back; but that’s envy, my dear. There’s a little bit of envy in the best of us.

4 thoughts on “I don’t know your pain.”

  1. Hmm, I did not remember that particular line, so I’m glad you reminded me. It’s human nature to want to give advice when hearing a friend’s problem, but you’re right – giving advice is not always the best thing to do. This was a point highlighted in our Changing Hearts, Changing Lives class, and the concept provoked much discussion. Hope your friends find themselves on healing paths soon.

  2. I ALWAYS strive to listen when my friends are having troubles. Sometimes a friendly ear helps other times not so much. Whenever I feel the need, very often, an ear is the best thing in the world.

  3. Angel_of_night

    First I would like to personally thank you for your listening ear and bit of advice. Which were both well received. Second I thank you for considering me a friend. Third if you feel the need for someone to lean on you know where to find me. Finally in helping with others sorrows, if it ever becomes too much be aware that you as a person are allowed to be overwhelmed and say that it is too much. I’m sure no one would fault you for it. I know I wouldn’t. I hope that everything goes well with all of the friends you did listen to.

  4. There is truth to what you write. For people of God, it is even a command. Well, helping one another out, but that does require first listening and identifying others’ problems.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *