Survivor guilt (or the dark night of the soul)

It seems that life is so very rugged for many of my friends right now. A couple of them are involved in situations where there are legal issues to be settled before they can get proper medical treatment. There are health issues that are cause for concern. If I focus on this alone, I find myself in one of two spots – totally discouraged or feeling guilty that I’m only dealing with some hurt feelings and shouldn’t I be really grateful?

It is generally a bad idea to compare myself, and my situation, with someone else. There will always be those who seem to have a heavier burden to shoulder right now, and those who seem to be flying high. In reality, I don’t know what is going on inside any of them. To feel guilty is to make light of how I feel ( they might be small problems or joys, but they are MINE). To be jealous of someone else’s good fortune is also to make light of my own life ( they might be small joys, but they are MINE.)

I seek to bring myself back around to looking in the mirror of God’s love, where I am where I am supposed to be right now. The mirror that reflects the truth about myself, how loved I am and the reality of life. In this mirror I can see clearly. I can see what can be. I can be in proper perspective.

I can accept that for me, the issues I deal with are real and worthy of consideration. If I dismiss my feelings too quickly or don’t give the attention they need, they will awaken me at 3 am, night after night (thanks owed to F. Scott Fitzgerald in “The Crack-Up” for that imagery), and make themselves into horrible monsters — well out of proportion to reality. Better to deal with them now, and put them to rest so I can openly and sincerely offer prayers and my support for my friends in need. I can cry with them or just listen without guilt or gloating.

At least that’s my plan.

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