Did I get the heading wrong? How can I not being there for others, bring me pain?
Last time I checked, it was offering help that got most of us in trouble, isn’t it? Well, let me convince you otherwise. But first, let’s clear the idea and what it really means. We all have few friends that are the best in listening to our grief and sharing support. Then there are friends who’d rather avoid such uncomfortable situations, but still, they are really good friends. Then there is the final kind, ones that are not entirely friends, but still exist with minimal interactions. First, identify which type are you. Are you the kind of person people come to with issues? Are you a good friend but you don’t prefer hearing out the grief of others? Or are you someone who’d rather stay by yourself instead of talking to people?
The message of this article is a bit twisted. You will get it as soon as you read it only if you’re the first kind, the helpful kind. But this message is tailored to the rest. So if you are among the second and third types, then try extra hard to understand this point. Also, I am not trying to convince you to be helpful for the sake of others nor to make you spiritual. The whole point is kind of selfish. I want to show that the part of your grief is because of this closed behavior.
Let me share the story about 3 ants. There were 3 ants who were working tirelessly to fill their storages with food before the rainy season comes. Three of them went separate ways in search of food. One came across a piece of cucumber. Well, it is not the best source of nutrition, yet it was food. Most importantly the ant could separate it into smaller pieces from his jaws to make it easier to carry. The other ant came across with a sugar cube. He was over the moon as soon as he saw it but then realized that he can’t take it home by himself. His jaws are not strong enough to break it, and he could not lift that much. He became depressed. But he never bothered to share that with his fellow ants. He worked day and night to break the sugar and finally managed to get a small piece in. But he was so sad that he could not bring the whole thing home. And kept thinking about everything he lost.
On the other hand, the ant who found the piece of cucumber knew that his friend got sugar and was sad that he only managed to secure a piece of cucumber. While on his way, he took a moment to check up on his other friend and got to know that he could not find anything. Now he is worried to death that he might end up starving. As soon as the ant got to know this, it offered the other ant to share the cucumber with him.
By the end of the season, one who managed to get a piece of sugar while the other two had cucumber. But the ant who got sugar never bothered to see how others are doing. He saw the world from himself and kept being depressed at his failure. Meanwhile, the second ant, who found the cucumber got over the sad mood of not having sugar when he spoke to his friend who didn’t have anything. He knew there were other people who went through bigger issues. That happened only because he was courteous enough to be there for others.
I guess my point is already clear throughout the story. When you closedown yourself, your point of reference become yourself. And whenever you feel miserable you start to see the world in that way. You can never see a light when you choose to live in dark and curse dark. Open up a door to let others in, develop empathy, and feel the pain of others. That can widen your frame of reference to your grief. If you don’t want to be a saint, then don’t. But letting others in your life can make you feel better.