There was an interesting exchange between two characters on a recent episode of Flash Forward that highlights an important lesson for all of us. Here’s a brief synopsis: A man named Bryce has cancer, but hasn’t told his family or any of his friends because he doesn’t “want their pity” and because they’ve already been through too much. A woman he’s telling this to (a psychiatrist) responds, “Telling them is not for their pity, but for their support. At this time in your battle, you need all the support you can get.” (paraphrased).
How often do we hide our struggles and difficulties from others because of our pride? Having someone’s pity is a very humbling place to be, so instead of taking that on, we hide our problems beneath the surface and act much stronger than we feel. This seems so ridiculous when brought out into the open, yet we all do it (I am guilty of this quite often).
Another excuse we oftentimes make when not opening up to others about our problems is that we don’t think they can provide a solution…that it would just be a waste of time. The comments of that psychiatrist, however, prove this to be irrelevant. Regardless of someone’s ability to tangibly help us through a problem, they can always support us. That could be through encouragement, showing that they’ve got our backs, or through prayer.
Most of the time, we do this without even realizing it. Our hesitance to share our problems with a loved one comes automatically. That’s where our awareness of ourselves and our actions is especially important. We probably won’t be able to correct this the first, second or even tenth time, but enough observation of what we do and when we do it could allow us to grow out of it down the road.
Reflecting at the end of the day is also very helpful as it allows us to detach from the emotions involved and think clearly about something that happened earlier in the day. Doing that and being constantly aware of ourselves is the only way for us to grow out of this. At a time when our world is making life difficult (either morally or financially), we could all use this type of growth.