The other day I read a quote that has stuck with me ever since.
Here’s the result of what I took from it.
During the journey of life, everyone goes through tough times. Everyone hurts. Everyone struggles. Everyone experiences some form of pain or loneliness. The reasons behind these feelings and their intensity differ, depending on the person and the situation. But these are all factors in the human experience.
There are times in your life when you’ll feel like no one really cares about you. You’ll feel lonely, like no one understands you.
During those times, it’s easy to internalize those feelings; to start thinking that you’re worthless, that it’s your fault no one cares about you, that you aren’t worthy of being loved. It’s easy to imagine these things about yourself, because in your mind, you have the proof: no one even notices when you’re struggling.
But the truth is, the actions (or apparent inaction) of others has nothing to do with you. The reality is that other people’s lives don’t revolve around you, as much as we all like to think they do. Most people have so much going on in their own lives that their world revolves around themselves. They have so much packed into their heads that they can’t see beyond their own to-do lists. Their thoughts are continually focused on the future – that person they have to meet, the deadline looming over them, the bills they have to pay, or the thousand other trivial thoughts popping up to no end.
For those of us trying to remove ourselves from that trap of non-stop thinking by learning to live in the moment, it can be hard to connect with these people on a deeper level. They are simply “too busy.” They have no available space in their minds for making personal connections, and certainly no time to spare.
My experience in trying to connect with someone trapped in the “too busy” mindset has usually resulted in feeling either neglected or guilty; neglect because they don’t seem to show a genuine interest in my well-being, or guilt for loading more problems onto their already overflowing plate by sharing my struggles with them.
However, I’ve learned some important things over the last few months through this experience.
“Things are not always as they seem.”
It’s a saying I’ve been familiar with for a long time, but am only just realizing the value of now. Just because someone appears to be too busy to care about you, it doesn’t mean they don’t. You can never truly know how someone else is feeling or what they’re thinking. People’s words and actions are not always representative of their true feelings. So, while someone seems indifferent to your suffering, or appears to not even have noticed that you are lonely or hurting, they may actually love you with all their heart.
For me, that’s the hardest part to remember. It’s easy to make assumptions based on the actions of others, but these assumptions will likely lead you to nothing but pain, often because they aren’t correct.
So, next time you feel invisible, remember that the friends and family you are expecting attention and validation from, also have their own lives. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. They, too, are struggling through this wild ride we call life. Maybe they haven’t yet broken free from the anxiety-inducing task list running through their head. Maybe they don’t know how. Maybe they haven’t even realized that it’s a possibility. Maybe they don’t believe it is.
I guess in the end, we’re all just doing our best. I’m no expert on living in the moment, but I’m trying to live a life of peace.
For me, that means living with a mind free of clutter.