We are asked to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep; easier said than done.
It’s difficult to relate to people who are going through vastly different circumstances than we are. It’s hard to know exactly what to say or do when everything in my life is good and someone I care about is just trying to keep their head above the deep waters. It’s difficult to be happy for other people when our own hearts are breaking.
How can I connect and relate when my life is so different? Does someone struggling even want to talk to someone who’s breezing by? I know from times of struggle just how annoying and patronizing it can be to have someone who’s doing just fine stop by and say, “Don’t worry, everything will be okay. I know what you’re going through.”
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Either way, looking at your pretty little life doesn’t make me want to tell you about my problems.
And yet that is exactly what we’re asked to do: We’re asked to enter into each other’s lives—bright and beautiful, dark and ugly—all of it without regard to what’s going down in our own lives at the time.
We’re asked to rejoice with those who rejoice—even when our heart are bleak and weary.
We’re asked to weep with those weep—even when we have great joy we want to share.
We’re asked to go beyond ourselves and find our way into the beautiful mess of each other’s lives. We’re asked to be there for each other when everything is right and when everything is wrong. We’re asked to empathize and understand the joy and sorrow all around us in the lives of those we love.
I’m trying to learn how to do this, how to set my own life and circumstances aside and enter into the array of beauty and sorrow that paints each of our stories.