What you don’t see

Behind the couch. In your wardrobe. Under the dishwasher. Back of the toilet. Tops of windowsills and doorframes. Places nobody notices, but if we’re onto it we clean them anyway. Struggling to get up before a morning workout. Four or five attempts at baking a cake until it works . Ten takes of a song that aren’t quite good enough. Walking tracks around your home to find the best one. The effort you put in for you, not for anyone else to see. Vacuuming, mopping, doing the dishes – if we do them while no one else is around we should not expect or need anyone to notice. It’s nice if people do and acknowledge the effort we’ve put in, but that should not be why we do most things in life.

Facebook is all about acknowledgement for doing something or saying something. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, when we’re learning new things it helps to have someone who knows teach us how. It helps to have a more experienced person tell us when we do something well. But, it does encourage us to seek validation more often. We are enough because of who we are. When we do the right thing, that’s more than good enough. When we are kind to others we improve the world.

Unhappiness is something people can do the opposite with. Instead of seeking validation people can hide their pain with a facade. This might be for any number of reasons. Maybe pain is something they manage well on their own. Maybe they give their worries over to God. Maybe they talk things through with their family, their strong and loving support network. We will not always see everything. We do not need to see everything. It doesn’t mean people are intentionally hiding things, it might just not be important right now. It might be one way they’re managing to continue being human today. Pay attention, and notice when there is a change in behaviour, but curb our expectations. Maybe we are the right person and they’ll open up about something, maybe it’s not something they want to talk about right now. Just like the good we do, sometimes the hurt we hold doesn’t need to be shared right then and there. As a compassionate human it can be difficult to hold back, to see something is not right and not try and fix it. Good on you for noticing. Good on you for having the courage to speak up and ask them about it. If they don’t want to talk, that’s ok. Remember: it’s not always about us.

We are all human, we all make mistakes. God loves us even when we make them. Let’s all make an effort to love others even when they make mistakes.

Be good, keep good, and sleep good, dear readers. Peace.

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