Within the last couple of years, I have come to a very significant realization.
Everyone has issues.
For me, this understanding has changed my life.
It has helped me to build meaningful and deep relationships with some incredible people.
In the past, there have been times I have looked at someone and thought that he or she had the perfect life … or body … or job … or relationship. I am not proud to admit that there were times I felt envy or jealousy with those thoughts.
Envy and jealousy are not emotions which are conducive to friendships, relationships or happiness (or really anything positive).
Through experience, I am now more apt to recognize struggles, insecurity, hardship, unhappiness or tragedy in a person. And instead of envy and jealousy for the positive aspects of their lives, I feel empathy … compassion … a desire to assist … and admiration for the way that people deal with these issues.
Please understand that I am not saying that I take pleasure in the problems of other people. I am not and I do not.
Instead, it has provided a basis on which to connect with others. It has, in a sense, leveled the playing field for me. Despite what it may seem at first, we are all so much alike, and we all have so much to learn from each other.
I also realized that, in order to truly connect with another, I needed to share my own struggles, insecurities and hardships. That is not something that I had done in the past.
I like to think that maybe this is growth.
I have found that there is so much strength to be gained not only from helping others, but also from making yourself vulnerable to another, and receiving advice and assistance.
As you may know from an earlier post of mine, I am entering into a new business venture about which I am very excited. My announcement of this to my friends and family was met with enthusiasm, for the most part.
There were a few, though, who were less than enthused. I pushed them on the issue, because if the reaction was due to a fear that I could address or prepare for, I wanted to know.
Instead, what I felt was resentment and a bit of anger.
I have thought about those reactions quite a bit in the past month.
And I wonder if my inability to share my issues in the past has left some with the false impression that I don’t have any. That perhaps life has come very easily to me.
If so, I want to set the record straight. My life has been very good and I am blessed. And I try to be grateful of that constantly. But it has not been without struggles.
Hello, my name is LeeAnn and I have issues.
I have struggled with eating disorders, with balance, and with periods of unhappiness. I have endured relationships that were hurtful and break-ups that almost crushed me. I have been sad, scared and angry – and I do not mean fleeting emotions. I still experience insecurity and doubts on a regular basis.
I have worked very hard for my achievements – sometimes too hard and have possibly sacrificed too much.
Knowing the above, I hope and pray that it enables you to have compassion for me and to truly share in my successes and hold my hand through the failures.
Because I so want to do that with you.