The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Don't Suffer Alone

My friends, we are living in troubled times in the developed and the developing nations. These times can be soul crushing for people suffering through financial collapse--the middle class has been called an "endangered species" in the US and many families are suffering dire choices between power and food, housing and medicine with dwindling funds, little or no support for mental illness, not nearly enough support for health issues, hunger, victims blamed for rapes, and so much more. If you follow the news, you know this very, very well. If you are suffering under any of these circumstances or others, you know it painfully, firsthand.

In the US, the culture revolves around the myth of the self-made man and virtually demands everyone be independent, pulling up themselves by their own bootstraps (tough for you if you can't afford the boots). Along with this pernicious myth goes blame. If you aren't meeting up to the standards, there is something wrong with you ... and the list of painful names that follows is not to be repeated here.

All of this shame leads to silence. Those in pain try their best to get by, to live the myth (the lie), and put on a happy face ... or at least a scrubbed face that acts as a hardened facade against the suffering within. Tell no one is the mantra of the day. This is wrong. We were all made for community. From introvert to extravert, we were made to live together and to help one another. Life is hard, sometimes brutal, and we often need others to lean on to make it through. If this is you, find yourself a community of folks who will support you along life's difficult road, folks who have knowledge that can point you in the right direction, folks who have helping hands, willing hearts, and very broad shoulders they are not afraid to get tear-stained.

Living under the myth of do-it-all-yourself, we no longer understand exactly what a healthy community is and how if functions. For that I recommend M. Scott Peck's The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. Members of a healthy community will refrain from generalizations, speak personally, be vulnerable, avoid attempting to heal or convert, empty itself (of barriers to good communication), listen wholeheartedly, and embrace the painful as well as the pleasant.

One place to start looking for community would be a place totally free to you. Talk to the reference librarian at the public library and see if that person can't point you toward sources of guidance, both in book form and on their computer terminals.

Find help my friends. Do not suffer in silence and end up in dark places you never chose for yourself or others. Know that you are not alone. There are others who will understand. Seek them.

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