To the Person Trying to be a Hero
To the Person Trying to be a Hero:
It’s not your fault. These four words were spoken to me by a stranger. This brief encounter was the first and last time I ever saw her but she was able to give me what no one could at the time, solace in a time of immense pain.
If no one has said these four words to you yet, let me be that stranger for you.
It’s not your fault.
Pain, whether visible or not, is never brought on by anything you did, have not done, and have yet to do. You are not being punished nor are you being tried; no one deserves pain, especially you.
While our individualistic society has been the birthplace of self-love and interpersonal success, the dark side of putting so much emphasis on the self is that we are led to believe that taking on everything—pain, hardship, struggles—and the ability to endure all of it alone, is a sign of glory. Suffering in silence has become associated with a badge of honor, a reward of responsibility, a measure of talent—but there is no award for being able to do it all.
I used to believe that if I could not carry the weight of everything on my shoulders, I was weak. If I could not endure hardships alone, I was not fit to experience success together. If I could not “get it together”, I was defective. If I crumbled in the face of adversity, I was less than everyone else who did not.
I proved n o t h i n g by trying to prove I was everything.
By never giving myself a break or letting myself rest, I was not a hero, I was only tired.
So to you, tired soul, let yourself rest.
Give yourself a break.
Take a time out.
Let yourself breathe.
The world and all the responsibilities it holds can wait until you’re done.