Perspective Swapping

I have recently come across a couple very pregnant women and I over heard them complaining about their weight and feeling fat. And everyone around them trying make them feel better by justifying their weight because they’re pregnant. With a recent miscarriage, you can imagine that these conversations sting, A LOT. My shoulder devil appears and soon I’m carried away in negativity. Thoughts like, “Well at least you’re pregnant.” or “You should be grateful for this hand you’ve been dealt. I wish it was my problem. I’ll trade you.” or if I’m feeling exceptionally jealous and angry, “Suck it up, at least your baby is still alive!”

I don’t like admitting to having these thoughts, It makes me feel guilty and heartless. I’m only human.

However, in my defense, I’m also really good at looking at both perspectives, which usually gets me into not so pleasant situation because I don’t know how to put myself, and even sometimes my husband, first. I feel like that instinct of prioritizing people and their needs comes naturally to most. Me, not so much. 

I will have certain thoughts towards someone at first, but then immediately my mind jumps into justifications, trying to put myself in their shoes, and validating them. Even when the majority gives no mercy to their actions. 

I am always reminded of your generic customer service experience where there is no frustration with out unmet expectations. Customer has an expectation, it’s not met, they’re frustrated, employee tries to meet the expectation, sometimes they do, and sometimes it’s beyond their control. I know this game very well having been on both sides. I feel for both.

As a customer I have desires and needs and I want them to come true on my timeline. As an employee I try to fulfill my job duties and put the customer first to make sure their needs are met in a timely manner.

This whole perspective swapping mentality is exhausting! It quickly wears you down mentally and emotionally. 

But on the flip side, this perspective swapping combined with my miscarriage has given me compassion.

After listening to my “fat” pregnant friend and a good bout of pessimism, I thought, “these burdens to her, are real. Who am I to disregard her reality?” She is having an experience that is not easy for her. I can’t necessarily relate, but I can allow myself to validate her feelings and acknowledge the reality of what she is experiencing. 

My pain of a miscarriage is incompareable to her hardships of self image and weight. It’s not fair for me  or her for me to spiral into thoughts of negativity, jealousy, and judgement. It might leave her feeling guilty about complaining or feeling bitter that I wasn’t accepting of her. And it just leaves me in an angry fit.

In my first post about my miscarriage I shared this: 

...I don’t want you to compare my story to your life (I’m REALLY good at this). They aren’t the same. I don’t say that to tell you that my life is worse. No. I say that because I don’t want you to feel guilty because you might think that there are people that have it worse.

Find the joy in what you have. It’s okay to be happy while others are not. And when the tough times come, your pain and my sorrows still matter. The Savior doesn’t take a measuring stick of standards and emotions from your neighbor and hold it up against you.

He throws that measuring stick you made up into the garbage, runs it through the trash compactor, shreds it, and then obliterates it into a fine powder!

He doesn’t measure! He just lets you in, lets you feel the peace when you need it...

...He doesn’t give you excuses, and He doesn’t use a measuring stick.

So don’t feel bad for having adorable little children right now while others may not have them. Give them a squeeze for me.

Don’t feel guilty for having the blessing of being pregnant. Embrace those queasy throw-up symptoms (actually, this might be a poor example. Idk I would go that far, those are dark days too).

Don’t feel like you have to eat until you explode because there are starving children in Africa.

Just do your good deeds where you can with where you are at. Sit and mourn with those that mourn for 2 minutes, just listen, and offer simple short encouraging phrases: I’m sorry. I’m here. I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, but I can listen.

If you’re not really sure what I’m talking about watch Brené Brown on Empathy.

To that I just want to add, sit and mourn with those that mourn, EVEN IF YOU THINK IT DOESN’T MATTER. Because the truth is, it matters to them.