“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
“Distress is the moment you realize that life will hurt more than your death. While existing, we’re forced to become acquainted with sadness. There’s no antibiotic for the ridding of distress, and no alleviation of these intervals of pain we must encounter. Behind our eyes, are all these things: our stories, our dreams, our deficiencies, and our scars. Today would leave a scar.” Crystal Woods
“One’s suffering, one’s melancholy is, in itself, really only looked upon as failure or as punishment, as detestable or sinful or socially unacceptable in the eyes of man; but this is not so in the eyes of God: for He is close to the broken-hearted.” Criss Jami
I am in distress about hearing another child is injured by a parent or someone they love. The frustration runs rampant through my head because I have no answers. If we are upset it triggers less appreciation for what we have. How can we give answers when our security is threatened. It is painful to worry about our sense of well-being when threats are part of our world. Such is the case for many children.
Are adults boxed in without any choices? Are we facing a dead-end to our lives on the road we are traveling? Is this what results in distress which leads to rage? It is easy to feel this way in life. I am no exception but predicaments and stress are not our leader. Our levels of overload differs and burdens strain us into crazy unthinkable actions. There is no excuse for anyone. I do not condemn anyone because I am not God. But deep within us, we bury the truth afraid to admit our own fears. When we arrive at a challenging place of chaos help seems out of reach. That is when we lose control.
Answers are elusive
Our next step is the panic button. The answers are elusive. We believe we lose and say and do anything. Human thoughts and emotions are overruled and animal instincts overtake reason. A person is motivated by anger hate and revenge while he searches for ways to take revenge on anyone near him. Like an unthinking machine, actions are mindless. The reason is obliterated with all the distress and feelings overshadowed.
The focus is to relieve the emotional anguish at any cost. The price is not important because one believes their life is too demanding and they are trapped. The torment and distress make a person cause pain to others who are in close proximity.
The first ones hurt are children because they are the easiest and most vulnerable targets. Kids are swallowed in an ocean of pain. This scene replays often and leaves desolation in its wake. People use children to hurt their spouses, aunts, uncles or grandparents in divorce situations. Few people consider the state of mind and emotional toll distress confers on children. We acknowledge children as creatures who don’t have feelings, opinions or desires. We consider the child’s worth inferior to the adult’s value when we fail to protect them from the bullies of the world. We may become their first bully.
I know we don’t live in other people’s homes but we can be watchful towards all children. Some live in fear and others have given up. If parents don’t protect kids but instead become the culprit then society should step in. How do we do that is a key question. Maybe it is time to restructure our child protective system. More workers may be placed in home environment areas. With counsel and support within the homes, more parents learn how to care for their kids with love and attention.
Skills must be taught
Some skills must be taught. If we have no knowledge about how to go about feeding or nurturing a child then it is important to have available counselors taking on that role. Giving someone food and clothes is kind but teaching someone how to find and earn food and clothes is better. When anyone is in distress it is okay to sympathize but to support them with other options is better. When a person is willing to work but can’t find a job perhaps more effort should be made to help him or her find the job rather than locking them up for stealing and then paying for jail time.
Maybe as a society, we can think of improved ways of teaching one how to survive in our society. As one professor once said to me, “If you lived in a rich society you would not know how to go about calling on those people who would take care of you and drive and buy items for you. Likewise, if you lived in an extremely poor society you would not know which places or rubbish cans had the best leftover food and which places were safer to bunk down for the night. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. We can’t throw anyone into any place and expect them to get the rules and norms of the society. We must teach them more than just giving without thought. One learns to value themselves and fend for themselves taking pride in their work and their own self. Starting from the bottom may promote better outcomes instead of pretending we have systems in place which obviously don’t work.
When people are desperate they do desperate and despicable things. Same as people who are frustrated or without options. This can lend itself to other areas in people’s lives that become unstable at any point in time. If one divorces there is turmoil and loss of family friends and security. Kids again suffer the most. Parents move on but kids are caught in the middle. Parents are likely dealing with so much they sense the need to find themselves first but in that process, the kids can become lost.
If a friend or family member is in need pay attention and help out. Give a hand at least the short-term. attempt to stop the negativity and find peace. kids didn’t fight with grandma or aunt Amy so keep it civil and allow as many family members into your life and your kids’ life as you can. Support comes in many sizes and ages. Working on any job with others brings greater security and serenity. Going alone is lonely and leads to distress a lot faster. Take a look around and find those people willing to be your friend and forgive family and friends who have disappointed you over a stupid silly thing. even if it was a serious thing forgiveness brings peace and love. Just try it for your kids’ sake and see if your life and your kids’ situation improves.
Distress leads to heartache and problems while love brings comfort and joy. Why find yourself with greater problems because the law has no mercy. Before you reach your limit take the needed break and let the ego go which insists on being in charge even when in the wrong. Work while compromising and collaborating with others.
Sharing workloads and babysitters and material items can improve each other’s situation. Learn how to love more and always treat your children with respect. They are your gold and worthy of love. Too many have died needlessly or been injured. It is time we stop the pain kids endure and show them a different world that is not full of pain and isolation but with love and respect.
“Anger is distress. Life is an individual race of endurance.” Lailah gifty Akita
“When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.” St. Mark
“The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.” Charles H. Spurgeon
“Perhaps ultimately, spiritual simply means experiencing wholeness and interconnectedness directly, a seeing that individuality and the totality are interwoven, that nothing is separate or extraneous. If you see in this way, then everything becomes spiritual in its deepest sense. Doing science is spiritual. So is washing the dishes.” Jon Kabat Zinn