Your crap is your crap.
This is a mantra I come back to time and time again: Your crap is your crap. What does it mean and why do I say it?
Because everything in this world is relative to you and your circumstances. And that can validate almost anything you ever think or feel.
Better Off Than Billions
Many times in my life I’ve suffered. I had a failed marriage and watched all the insanity that comes along with the experience. I’ve had physical woes along the way, everything from stomach problems to a bad knee to breathing issues. And I’ve had money troubles like no tomorrow.
But I’m not naive. I recognize that the world I live in is pretty miserable for not just a few people. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I’m luckier and better off than at least seven billion people on the planet. There are countless people living in dire poverty or living in fear for their lives. Scores of people feeling pain and suffering I’d find unfathomable.
So what gives me the right to complain when my phone company overcharges me? Or someone blows cigarette smoke in my face? Or when my sciatica starts acting up again? Or my children start fighting with each other like rabid psychopaths? Or there just simply isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish everything I want to accomplish?
Why? It’s simple.I don't think it's an exaggeration to say I'm luckier and better off than at least seven billion people on the planet. Click To Tweet
Your Crap is Your Crap
Your crap is your crap. And no one has any right in the slightest to deny you the suffering you are feeling, relative to your own environment, your own situation, and your own ability to handle everything happening around you. And anyone in your life who tries to tell you not to complain or vent about what’s on your mind is doing you a disservice. They are not true friends. And they are not letting you get the pain out of your system like you need to.
There exist cultures that encourage you to bottle up your feelings. You should bury everything deep down and not let them be a burden upon you or the society at large.
But that’s not how we’re meant to cope with our daily struggles. We’re meant to explore how things make us feel. We’re meant to delve into our own psyches and learn from what we’re struggling with. Learn how to become better, stronger people. And through this beautiful exploration, we achieve a certain level of self-actualization that brings us a step or two closer to becoming who we are meant to be in this world.
The process of burying our feelings does not make them go away. Quite the opposite, in fact. I look at those feelings like a dirty old handkerchief. We do our business into that glorified rag, and then what do we do? We shove it into a deep, dark pocket. It’s the ultimate breeding ground, where the grotesque few germs can now grow and become a massive amount of germs.
Like our boiling emotions.
The Buried Emotion
When shoved deep down in our system, they are still around. Not broken or damaged in the slightest. Rather their fire is being doused with gasoline, and one day they will explode out of the suppressor. And it will be ugly, oh so ugly.
So no, just because someone else lost a parent, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be upset because you lost a pet. And just because there is some kid in Africa who hasn’t eaten in a week, doesn’t mean you can’t be agitated if you had to skip lunch this afternoon.
And just because someone out there lives his life in fear of death every single day does not mean you don’t need to vent to friends and family if something unpleasant happens at work.
If you choose to smile more and fret less because you have it good in comparison to so many others, that’s your choice. And it’s a lovely one to make. But it’s going to be an uphill battle. You might be fooling yourself half the time. And you better not impose your outlook upon anyone else. All you’d be doing is denying others the right to cope with their challenges the way they need to.
And what you’re doing may be antithetical to the noblest way to conduct yourself.
Your Trauma is Your Trauma
I recently posted on a PTSD group, panicking that I’d be shunned for considering thoughts and feelings I have as comparable to the trauma others experienced. After all, I’ve never seen war. I’ve never stared death or drug addiction or a broken childhood or physical abuse in the face. Who am I to compare some of the feelings I experience to those of others who have really suffered?
And the group could not have been more welcoming. Trauma was presented to me as something relative to the individual. Something related to your own response to circumstances. Not the circumstances themselves. I felt what I felt because of how my system responds to certain parts of my past, and as far as they were concerned, the minutiae of that past weren’t relevant to the discussion. I needed help and they welcomed me with open arms. They embraced me and took me in as one of their own.
Your Feelings are Your Feelings
Because your crap is your crap. Your feelings are your feelings. No, that doesn’t mean you should lord them over others. It doesn’t mean that the world needs to change itself to accommodate you. That doesn’t mean people should change their lives because of the suffering you experience. But it does mean you have every right to feel the way you do, and anyone denying you that right is doing something terrible.
So the next time you hear a little voice inside your head telling you to bury your frustrations, just don’t do it. Find a friend who will listen intently and give you fresh and interesting insights. Talk to your therapist. Snuggle with your dog. Go to the gym and beat the ever-living hell out of the heavy bag.
Remember: Your crap is your crap. You deserve sympathy for suffering. Own it. Embrace it. And join the rest of us in trying to break free of the troubles life constantly tosses our way.