Keeping a Healthy Perspective

While I was going through treatment, I used to get messages from people all the time saying something along the lines of, “I was having a really bad day but then I thought about what you’re going through and it made me feel much better about what I’m dealing with.” Some people said it with much more tactfully than that, but it was that same general message that I would get multiple times a week.

This statement has always made me a little uncomfortable and it took some time for me to figure out why. I’m not one to get easily offended, but these comments actually did offend me. I didn’t like the idea of people using my cancer diagnosis as a way to feel better about what was going on in their own lives. I mean, on one hand, I was happy that these people were able to put their problems into perspective, but at the same time, it just never sat quite right with me.

We're all going through something

Here’s the thing... we all know that everybody is going through something.

Maybe you’re in high school and just had your heart broken for the first time.

Maybe you’re going through a divorce and are about to be a single parent to 3 kids.

Maybe one of your loved ones just got diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Or maybe you’re a 3 year old who didn’t get the toy you wanted.

In all 4 of these situations, the person probably feels like their world is ending. Obviously, a 3-year-old’s toy getting taken away may seem very insignificant to us as adults, but that’s because circumstances change, priorities change, and everyone is in a different stage of life.

You're allowed to be upset over anything

Each of these issues are relative to one specific person and what’s going on in their life. Nobody has the right to judge how someone is dealing with something. You’re allowed to be upset over anything, no matter what anyone else is going through. I do believe it’s always good to keep things in perspective, but there’s a difference between doing that and minimizing what you are going through based off of what others are going through.

It's okay if someone else has it worse than you

Don’t ever think that your problems are insignificant because someone else has it worse. Instead, always take time to be grateful about what you have and the things that are going well in your life.

The life lesson here is that you shouldn’t base your happiness on someone else’s life. Take time every day to be grateful for what you have despite anything bad going on. Even in the worst moments of your life, I’d bet you can think of something to be grateful for. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it certainly is possible.

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