Everyone's Fighting A Battle.
There’s some debate about who said this quote first…Ian MacLaren…John Watson…Plato…whoever it was, they were onto something profound:
“Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.”
Have you ever made a quick judgment about someone’s behavior, and experienced an internal shake when you found out out the real story behind the moment? Maybe your boss yells at you at work about something menial, you yell back, and then it comes out that they just found out a loved one passed away.
Everyone is doing their best to survive every day. We can’t control what happens to us, and some of the things that happen are excruciatingly painful.
Sometimes it’s impossible to contain the feelings, so they bust out through other emotions; like sadness through anger, or grief through withdrawal. Maybe we explode at someone undeserving, and the reason why is never understood.
We can consider this quote from 2 different perspectives: the person who’s fighting the battle, and the observer of that person’s behavior. We’ve all been on both sides, and often both parties are actively fighting an internal battle while (incorrectly) interpreting the behavior of the other person. It gets messy. When both sides are unconscious to what’s behind the curtain, these sharp and unfair moments can destroy relationships.
This quote brings to light the need for compassion. From everyone.
Through keeping this quote close, we can all experience at least a slight surge of patience and perspective in the moment; a softening of the mind. As the observer, we need to do our best to be aware of the possibility that this person/ warrior we face might be enduring something worse than we could ever imagine.
On the other side, this quote reminds us that people can’t actually see what we’re going through, unless we let them in. If I’m struggling through something and snap at my husband, I do my best to remember to tell him about what’s going on behind the curtain. The unfair blowup creates a very avoidable hurt.
Awareness and communication are key, my friends! Acknowledging and speaking for the feelings you have is kind and respectful - to you, and to those around you. A little vulnerability goes a long way, and will make your relationships stronger.
I’m not implying that any of this is easy. Feelings sweep us up, and sometimes we make mistakes. Pain isn’t comfortable, and we often jump on the fastest road to whatever, in the moment, seems like relief. However, if we can all try to take a step back, we can avoid the messy consequences of our actions. When we lead with compassion and not reaction, the results can be marvelously unexpected. :)
In these moments, there are tools available to help you succeed (in addition to a handy quote). I’m here to guide you into discovering how they can best serve you. Let’s talk it out: firstname.lastname@example.org.