We are used to asking people “what would you do if you were in my current state, or you were to walk in my shoes?” . It sounds so simple but if you think deep you will know its one of the toughest questions one should never be in a haste to answer. Often we get people to empathize with us. A guy I once knew would often say “No! I can not pretend to be you nor put myself in your shoes, I will only know how it truly feels like when I get there myself”. It sounded offensive then but the fact is no one can ever see him or herself in another person’s pain not until you have made the same journey they did and go through the same experience.
My experience this week is no different from this; you can only best judge someone or belittle their pain when you’ve lived your life walking in their shoes.
I was in my room this Thursday evening when my mom called me to come over to the living room. When I got there she was sitting calmly in the sofa wearing a pair of black slippers claiming she was getting a massage and so wanted me to have a feel of it. I was made to wear the slippers after her ,then sat down trying to relax and be in a very comfortable state so I could also enjoy the massage. I felt a sharp pain at my joints that pulled me out of my imaginary world into reality and in few seconds it felt like my patella was being hit hard with a hammer. I was told I needed to be on my feet till the whole procedure was over. For the next 15 minutes I couldn’t laugh, cry, or stand up straight except moaning in pain. As much as it did hurt, I was bent on enduring the pain till completion least my old lady make fun of me.
All those who walked into the living room wondered why I was behaving that way because all they could see was me wearing a pair of slippers and claiming to be hurting. My mom just couldn’t stop laughing along with the others and all she said was “You would never had believed me if I had told you so, I needed to make you go through it too”.
I made my other siblings go through it too and it was such a lovely experience especially when they realized they couldn’t get to where I did before giving up. All what everybody notices is someone in slippers and screaming for no apparent reason.
There are so many instance where people are hurting so much within yet all that is visible is anger or bitterness, some means most people use to get over terrible situations so nobody will know what they are going through. Its one thing to imagine what someone may be going through and another to know what someone is going through because you’ve been through that yourself.
Its sad when we only speed up to point out fingers trying to look better than the other person considering what you term as their mess, when you’ve never made an effort to know more about the pain that led them to that.
We all bear some marks, scars from our broken point either visible or not that took some brighter and beautiful part of us replacing it with a dark and evil part. Some well controlled, others not which when pushed unleashes a numb part of us, one that is so inhumane and dead. Have you ever wonder what the person you only see to be moody all the time story may be? Who and how they were before their story? What they lost while recovering or how you can make them see that you are no better than them, and probably would have done worst in their state.
While in pain wearing the slippers that was supposed to massage my feet, all I saw was people laughing and making fun of me and wondering what at all can a pair of slippers do to me. Nobody for once thought of considering the slightest possibility of how much I was hurting until they were made to wear the same slippers, so they can also have their own true version of the story. Not that I wished for them to also get hurt, but so they do not underrate my suffering.
I know I have once not proudly underrated some people’s pain and agony because it only looked like they were making it up. I’m sure many of you have done same, worst thought someone deserved whatever pain he or she is going through, but nobody does. Its only unfortunate that life chooses who to hurt in order to make them stronger for what is ahead and who to keep just the same since they may never be able to survive it.
Just know and remember this; you will never know how much someone is hurting until you walk their path.