31 Conversations From the Front Porch Day 22

31 Conversations From the Front Porch Day 22 – you can find the rest of the series here.

31 conversations from the front porch with jkmcguire

Day 22: I Can’t Make You Understand

I have often heard it said that happiness is a choice. But that is perhaps the worst thing you can say to someone who is suffering from depression, or chronic physical pain, mental or physical illness, any kind of abuse, or the spiritual wilderness.

When you are flooded over by the darkness hearing the words, “You can choose to be happy” is the last thing you need to hear.

Because it is often so far from the truth.

I can wake up in the morning and choose what to have for breakfast.

But I can not necessarily choose all of the elements that will determine whether or not happiness defines my day.

There are too many factors that make happiness a reality to resort to the use of hopeless, trite sound bites.


As I ease into my new normal of pain – residual lung pain and vascular pain from blood clots, fibromyalgia, and a wicked ugly autoimmune disease – because my body hates me, as I struggle into these new things for me the more I understand how much those who do not suffer do not understand. They simply do not get it.

They are the people telling others how to choose their happiness.

I didn’t get i either until I acknowledged what was happening with my body – what I was living and why.

And no matter how much those of us who hurt, and suffer and live in the dark places try to talk about it to help those around us to understand… the more those watching do not understand.

It is like trying to get a wealthy man to understand the overwhelming pressure of living pay check to pay check.

You can not force someone towards empathy.

Empathy is learned…

  • I can not make you stand in my shoes.
  • I can not take your hand and help you to literally feel the throbbing ache that courses through my body.
  • I can not touch your ribs and show you what it is to have a hitch when I breathe.

I can’t help you get it. And I can not help you want to understand. The truth is often that some people may be able to empathize, but they really do not WANT to go there with you.

I only have just enough energy to live this thing.

I only have so many spoons. And seriously I am not sharing just so that you understand where I am a little bit better.

How can I help it to be different? I think I can help the world to be a little more understanding and compassionate by living in the lives of others what I would have them live into mine. Loving into others. Breathing into others. Being.

I think I can do that.

And I think I can do that well even when I hurt.

How about you?

there is only one happiness george sand jkmcguire

Exercises For Your Own Front Porch Conversations

One spoon today – do something that makes you happy, that brings a smile, that causes your spirit to overflow with joy, and share that something with someone you love. ♥


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