If you think you are alone in whatever you struggle with in life, I assure you that you are not. If you are hoping that no one ever finds out your family secrets because you think you will be judged, I need to tell you that most people have the same struggles or worse than what you are experiencing.

The best thing you can do is share what you are going through with someone you trust or with a professional because a burden is lighter when more than one person helps to carry it. Hiding it, making excuses, and worrying will chip away at your mental health until your issues are even bigger than they were before.

I have noticed that when a group of people is together for an extended period, the issues start to leak out as soon as people have read the room and deemed it safe to share. In any group of people, you will find at least some of the following: marriage struggles including issues with age differences, a controlling partner, infidelity, multiple divorces, alcoholism, single parenting, serious health issues, children with special needs, anxiety, and depression. These are just a few of the issues that come up in a group.

We are so much better together than we are alone, and when we are facing the struggles in life, it is easier to do it head-on like the warriors we need to be when we are surrounded by kindness, and friends that are willing to accept us with all our bumps and bruises instead of judging us for our flaws and burdens. If you know a single parent is going through cancer treatment while also caring for children, step in and offer help, if a neighbor has lost a job, collect money, and leave an anonymous donation, or make the neighbor meals, offer to spend a few minutes talking with an elderly neighbor. There are so many easy ways to help people with their burdens. I used to have a sign in my classroom that said, “You have no idea what the person next to you is going through. Be kind always.”

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