come commiserate with me

I find that when I have had a hard day with the kids, or had trouble getting the closets organized, or can’t seem to find the matches to the socks, or [insert trite trial or heavy hardship here], the most encouraging thing for me to hear is a little commiserating from a friend.  

I feel a mild inclination that this might be a substantial character flaw.  

But here’s my reasoning anyway.  When I have shared said trial, it is encouraging to know that I’m not the only one and that someone I respect has struggled, even failed, in the same area.  However, sometimes after sharing, the response comes, “Oh yeah, I used to have that problem with my unmatched socks, but now I just…”

I find the solution offered usually to be a good one, and even helpful, but if there isn’t sufficient commiseration beforehand, I end up feeling like a loser.  This person obviously came up with the solution on their own, why didn’t I?  

Or sometimes I know what the solution is, but I’m looking for someone to validate that actually implementing it is a hard thing.  For me, this is encouraging.  Knowing that someone else had difficulty with the same thing I am having difficulty with gives me hope.  It makes me think, “Well, we can get through this together,” or, “She had a really hard time with this and is on the other side of it, I guess it’s not the end of the world.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I am certain that I have done this to other people (that is, forgone commiseration in order to give hasty advice).  And to all of you, I say, I’m sorry.  Come, let’s commiserate together, with the full knowledge that our hope is in Christ, not unmatched socks.

6 thoughts on “come commiserate with me

  1. So true and thanks for using the word “commiserate”….I am pretty sure I have never used that word before….a good thought and a broader vocab…must be a good day:)

  2. I think your post mirrors the truth of Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” The verse does not say, Listen to those weeping (or hurting) and explain it away. They’ve dismissed your pain with a quick fix. Which is why it makes you feel bad and resentful and hurt. They aren’t “weeping with those who weep.” It is a lesson, I think, for all of us. We should seek to listen, understand, sympathize and empathize, but give advise only if asked or if not asked, gently, if led to do so. Hurting people need to know they are loved and cared for, regardless of their hurt.

    Also, the little things are the big things, especially in family. I wouldn’t call your trials ‘trite’.

    Keep up the good posting.

  3. its hard to commiserate without knowing the issue….but i agree family trials are huge…… far as matching socks….at the end of the week if i am missing any i throw them away,ahahaha….

  4. Well, I didn’t have a specific incident for commiseration, but we can just commiserate about the general lack of commeseration.

  5. I can commiserate with having 3 small children, husband, house, lost socks, etc. I can also rejoice that you have all those things, and you are who(whom) you are. I appreciate you and your blog. LOVE:)

  6. Any time you need to commiserate, come visit me. I can just about promise you will feel better after you wander around my house for a bit. If it’s domestic and you’ve struggled at it, you can pretty much bet I have too. : )

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