Life is full of contrasts. One minute high and the next, low. One minute dark, then light follows soon after. One minute fast and the next, slow. One minute hot and the next, cold. Happy, sad. Rich, poor. Big, little. And so on. In a sense, it is what makes up the unique tapestry of our individual lives. The contrasts. Shadow, light. Said, unsaid. Loud, soft. Acceptance, denial. Good, bad.
We all have bits of each of them to contend with or celebrate, each and every day. Sometimes the extended time at one end of the spectrum can make us feel that we are in the troughs forever, and that the peaks are unassailable. And time tends to slow down when we are in the pits, doesn't it. Have you ever noticed "how time flies when you are having fun"? It is true, isn't it? Old adages came about for a reason!
I am no different to any of you. I am a creature of contrasts. Strengths and weaknesses. I may appear strong, but have moments of great weakness too. I may appear confident, but have times of huge insecurity. I may appear optimistic, but there are also times when I wonder if I am being an idiot. About the optimism. And though there are some who assume I am as tough as nails, I know there is a side which is very vulnerable. I may appear to cope, but at times feel as though I am sinking. I am a warrior for other people, but am a wimp when fighting battles for myself. Just because I am an extrovert, it does not mean I don't have dark abysmal moments too. Contrasts.
People like me have great difficulty letting the weak or the vulnerable side loose. We have become adept at being upbeat and our "I can cope with anything" attitude works. It really does make other people think we can actually cope with anything. If I ever have to hear the words "God never gives you more to cope with than you can bear" again, I may do actual bodily harm. Of course He does. That is the whole point. You get to the point where you absolutely CANNOT cope with another thing, and that is when you fall at the foot of the cross and say I can't, I can't do this. And that is when you learn that you should never have tried to do it at all or by yourself in the first place. He never intended you to. He wanted to carry those burdens FOR you, but you were too stupid and pig-headed to listen. I speak from long and bitter and repeated experience here.
The hardest thing in the world is actually saying - I can't cope with this. I can't do it. I have had enough. No. I lie. The HARDEST thing is actually saying - Help me. Please. And having the rest of the world actually believe you.
That is a problem. Help? It is as though you have suddenly entered a twilight zone. Disbelief. Jokes cracked at your expense. Or nervous laughter. Because, you see, people who are the solvers of everyone else's problems, can't possibly have problems they cannot solve, can they. See? That is how it works. There will be many of you out there who know just what I am talking about. I would hazard a guess that we are predominantly the oldest children in our respective families. My own children were typical of this - the oldest used to swat away my hands and say "I do it!" "I do it by my OWN!" And my youngest would yell " HELP me!" to his big brother and sister.
This is a long-winded way (very) of coming to the point I wanted to make. Assumptions. Please try not to make them. Remember the flip side to everything. Some people use humour to mask pain. Just because they laugh does not mean they are not feeling the pain. Inside a bully may be a frightened child. Inside a beautiful woman may be an insecure fat teenager. Inside each of us, there are contrasts. Opposites. Shadows and light.
You only know the part of me I choose to expose. But do not assume that that is all there is to me. Assumptions. Making them can be a great mistake.
Personal views(Seeing+hearing) = Assumption. It does not equal Truth. Multiply what you see and what you hear by your personal view of life, and you come out with assumptions. I see a beautiful woman, who speaks well, dresses well and walks with confidence. I assume that she "has it all", is rich, clever and successful. I have made assumptions, neatly pigeon-holed her and I have not even begun to consider that there may be a whole different side to her. First impressions are not always so accurate, are they.
Sigh. I do this too. All the time. I am the first to confess that I make assumptions. I am not setting myself up here as some angelic being. Hahahahaha. But I have come to the conclusion that I cannot expect others to realise that there is another side to me, unless I acknowledge that they too have contrasts, which they may be as adept as I am at concealing. It has only taken 54 years. I am a slow learner at times, it seems.
Anyway. This has been a week of contrasts. Highs and lows. Good and bad. Success and failure. And you know what? Next week promises to be more of the same.........
That's life. Isn't it?