Tuesday, September 14, 2010

There are worse things than Cancer.

A few weeks ago I was talking with a good friend of mine. A wise friend of mine. She said, "There are worse things than Cancer." I've thought a lot about her statement.

I could quickly agree that many things are worse than my cancer. But then I thought of a sweet friend whose husband is battling cancer. I'm not sure that many things are worse than his cancer. And, I thought of another friend whose husband is battling cancer. Oh, what a tough battle. I started to think about other trials that my friends, family or I have faced.

Having a child with a terminal illness.
Loss of a home to a fire.
Being disowned by your family.
Being betrayed by a friend.
Being betrayed by a spouse.
Years of unemployment.
Physical abuse from a spouse.
Mental illness.
Emotional abuse from a loved one.
Having a child with special needs.
Losing a spouse.
Going through an unexpected divorce.
Watching a loved one struggle with an addiction.

What makes a trial hard? What makes some things feel so much harder than other things?

As I thought about the trials in my life, I tried to identify what has made some trials seem easier to bear than others. I wondered if it was the trial itself. Is it harder to survive Cancer than to survive sexual abuse? Is it harder to have a child with special needs than to ... well, you get the idea. But, then I started to think about what helps/helped me to survive the tough things in my life. And, what makes some things really hard.

That's when it hit me: *Secrets make things hard.*

At first I wondered if there is some kind of power that a secret has that makes it really hard, but then I realized, Hello. It's that when I'm keeping it a secret, I'm carrying the burden all by myself. But, when I share it, then others help me to bear the burden. When we bear one another's burdens, our burdens are made light.

At times it is not possible to blog about our struggles. At times our struggles are so personal that we cannot share them openly with friends or family. I think those are the struggles that are worse than Cancer.

I hope you are not there.

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