Don’t Let This One Mindset Ruin You

Don’t Let This One Mindset Ruin You

A few years ago I went through a really hard time. I was angry and hurt. I remember a friend of mine talking to me about how he had gone through something similar. He (very kindly) said some things that really annoyed me at the time. The entire time he was talking all I could think was: His situation was totally different from mine. He doesn’t understand my pain.

Now, on the other side of that challenging season, I see that my friend really did understand my pain. He told me what I needed to hear. But deep down I really wanted to believe I had a unique situation. It made me feel better about myself. Plus, if no one understood me and my pain I had an excuse to wallow in my misery.

The longer I work with people in coaching and counseling the more I’m convinced that the most dangerous mindset anyone can have is to tell yourself:

No one understands my pain. My situation is unique.

I’ve seen that thought pattern ruin more than a few people. When someone believes no one understands their pain they separate themselves from people. They get upset when people try to console them, but don’t say the exact right thing they want them to say. People are trying their hardest to help them, but if it’s not said exactly how they want it said the person in pain writes those folks off. They become even more isolated and alone. Which creates more pain.

God seems to be very aware of this tendency in human nature. I tend to believe one of the reasons Jesus went through being despised, rejected, abandoned, and brutally murdered is so we could never say “No one understands my pain.”

Jesus understands.

And this is where things get interesting. He has chosen the church (people) to be the instrument he uses to care for us in our pain. He even calls the church his body. His hands and feet. When we accept that Jesus truly understands our pain and are willing to trust that he has placed people we need in our life to care for us we break free from the mental loop that wants to isolate (and ultimately ruin) us.

Yes, you have pain. It’s yours. But you are not alone. Jesus understands and he has a body/family that is ready to walk with you through that pain if you’ll refuse to believe the lie that you are alone and no one understands.

Stay engaged in community, no matter how deep the pain you are feeling. Community is life.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… Hebrews 12:1