Don’t compare the size of the mountain.

22 Apr

Something is on my mind – and while I REALLY should be packing, I’m going to sit and write this post instead.

Do you know what gets people in a lot of trouble?  Mountain comparing.

When we’re going through something really tough – we look around at people complaining about such small things, and we get really judgemental, really quickly.

Mountain Comparing opens us up to all of these dangers:

– Questioning Why me? and Where is God?

– Judgment of others.

– Critical Spirit.

– Further Depression.

– Minimizing of others struggles.

– Self absorption.

– Pride.

And on and on it goes.

For everything that you’re going through – someone else has had it worse.  And they have plenty of words for you about how pathetic you are for struggling so much, or calling that a “problem”, or how it’s all a part of life and you need to just deal with it.

And we all have had someone do that to us at one time or another.  And it hurt.  Even if there could have been some truth in it – that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that when you feel something, or you’re going through something and it’s hard for you – then the truth is, it’s hard for you.

It doesn’t matter how anyone else would handle the situation, what they’d say, what they’d do, who they’d lean on, how big of a deal they’d think it was – that’s all totally irrelevant.

I got a good dose of this myself a few years back.

I had two really easy newborn babies – and I do mean EASY!

And then I had 3 miscarriages.

I HATED listening to women talk about how hard it was raising a newborn.  And all their complaints and tears and blah blah blah.

At least they were pregnant.  At least they could have children.

And then – I had two children 15 months apart who never took a bottle even ONE time so I was never away from at least one or both of them for more than 2 1/2 hours for 3 years…. and it was HELL!

It was so hard.  I cried a lot.  I was depressed at times.  I loved those babies so much – and I hated how needy they were at the same time.

And I got it.

Raising a newborn is hard.  Infertility is hard.

One is not harder than the other.

And the same goes for every other “woe is me” problem in my life.

Being a stay at home mom is hard.  Being a working mom is hard.

Different problems.  But equally challenging.

Being married to a man who is a workaholic is hard.  Being married to a man who is lazy is hard.

Different challenges.  Both cause a lot of hurt and damage.

I don’t have time to keep listing all the comparable problems that we’re all facing out there – but I trust you know yours already.

Practical Application –

I don’t know what your really hard is right now, or who that really annoying person is that thinks his/her situation is hard when you feel like they couldn’t possibly even understand hard –

but let me speak some truth on the wound.

What you’re going through is hard.  What they’re going through is hard.  Don’t compare.  Buckle down and get through your hard with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Because you never know when you’ll be called to walk in their shoes – and you’ll realize just how hard their hard actually was after all.


12 Responses to “Don’t compare the size of the mountain.”

  1. Ashley April 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    “Different problems. But equally challenging.”

    You are wrong. You are awful for making some of the comparisons that you do, and I think that as a self-proclaimed Christian woman that you should deeply reflect upon the hurt that some of these things have inflicted upon other people. Me personally, included. I am deeply disappointed in your complete disregard for other people’s feelings and your flippant remark that all mountains are equal. You are wrong. Being a stay-at-home mom is a joy and a privilege. Quit complaining. Go to work. Let someone else raise the children you brought into this world. Problem solved. Now let’s see…how can I solve my problem? OH, I CAN’T! My mountain, the death of my 18-week baby, is NOT THE SAME AS THAT. YOU CAN NOT COMPARE THE TWO, SO DON’T TRY. This post is ignorant and you should be ashamed.

    • Kayla Gulick April 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      I’m sorry you’re hurting over the loss of your child. What you’re going through is VERY hard.

      I don’t think you’re reading this the way it was written.

      I feel like if you had read this two months ago, you wouldn’t have read it with such anger and hate toward me.

      My intent was to express that while in the middle of disappointment, heart ache, struggle, depression, challenges, loss – it can feel overwhelming no matter how big of a problem it is.

      We can’t determine what is hard for someone else. All we can determine is what is hard for us.

      Lashing out at me might have made you feel better tonight, but all you did is take a post NOT written to you intentionally, extremely personally, and attack me personally, intentionally.

      I’m not minimizing your hurt Ashley. You have much to mourn. Losing a child is painful. You are climbing a very steep mountain. And I would never willingly imply anything different than that.

  2. Abbey April 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Some people have mountains, some have mole hills….it sounds like you are justifying people who whine about things that don’t matter which isn’t really ok. Everyone has problems, but to say they are equally hard/big is outrageous.

  3. Stephanie April 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Ashley, let me start by saying, I’m sorry for the loss of your baby. Like you, and Kayla, I too lost a baby early in my pregnancy and it’s heartbreaking.
    But let me also say I think you’ve completely missed the mark! I think you must’ve misread or misinterpreted what Kayla was saying… No where did she say that all mountains are equal. She was trying to explain that there is always another side, another person struggling just as hard or even harder, and to take that into account before you “compare mountains”.
    It’s real easy to fall into feeling like you’re the only one, or all alone, or have it worse than, when you start comparing… which is quite honestly what your comment sounds like you’re resorting to.
    You may want to reread her post. And then think about apologizing for being so vicious and attacking. It was uncalled for.
    Kayla, you can delete this if you want to. I just can’t stand by and read such ridiculousness without responding. I know your heart. Love you girl!

  4. Freddi Hatcher April 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    I was blessed by this post today! My grown daughter was recently being extremely vulnerable while sharing a struggle she is dealing with. I went into my usual “empathetic” mode by telling her it could be worse…blah,blah,blah. She looked at me with teary eyes and said, ” Mom, this is ME we’re talking about right now!” Wow!
    Ladies, you know how you feel when you’re talking to your man about a problem in your life and he tells you how to “fix” it? I think that’s what Kayla is referring to in this post.

    • Ashley April 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

      I just can’t see how comparing such unlike things is even valid. Does the pain of a paper cut hurt as much as the pain of an amputee? No…Or does it? I feel like that is what you were implying in this post. But…all struggles are not created equal. I know that everyone has struggles, and mine is minor compared to what others face and major to those who wouldnt be strong enough to pick up the pieces. I just don’t feel that it is even logical to draw such comparisons. Apples vs. oranges. Is a day ruined by a chemo treatments as large a mountain as a day ruined by a housing loan being rejected? I can’t imagine it is, so perhaps I missed the point. Lashing out doesn’t make me feel better at all, but your presumptions seem rather heavy-handed. I may have reacted differently two months ago, but I know in my heart I would have seen this idea as far from the truth then as I do now.

      • Kayla Gulick April 25, 2013 at 6:59 am #

        I totally agree that not all problems ARE equal.

        My point is that they can “feel” equal to the person who is going through them at the time.

        When something major comes up, it can feel like we’re facing the highest mountain we’ve ever faced. It isn’t until it’s passed that we can look at it and say, Wow, that was a huge mountain the Lord brought us over, or that actually only was a molehole (as Abbey referenced.)

        As we go through things, we see what is truly big and what is little. But in the midst of it, the problem can be so engulfing that to the person, it feels very huge.

        That is the point I was trying to make. Not to beat up on people who we feel like are going through a really small problem because to them *at the time* it feels like a mountain. Maybe later, they’ll look back and also see that it wasn’t as big as it felt at the time. But we can really hurt their feelings, minimize their pain, and become very judgemental if we waste all our energy comparing who has a mountain and who doesn’t.

        This isn’t related to you at all. What you’re going through it a mountain. It will always feel like a mountain. And no one should ever make you feel like it isn’t.

        I’m not suggesting what you’re going through IS actually equally the same problem as everyone else. I’m saying the feelings that come with the problems are all equally challenging during the struggle. So, we need to be careful to tell others that they don’t really hurt, when in the midst of it, they really do hurt. Even if they later realize, it wasn’t as bad as they thought.

        I apologize if this felt “heavy-handed.” That wasn’t my intent. I hope you’ll forgive me.

  5. Freddi Hatcher April 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    My daughter wasn’t feeling a paper cut but it wasn’t an amputation either. I truly believe our Savior cares about each of His children’s struggles. Yes, some are more life changing than others, but they all make us draw closer to His power and make us stronger in our faith.

    • Kayla Gulick April 25, 2013 at 7:01 am #

      Thanks Freddi for sharing how this post helped you with your daughter today.

      I’m glad you were able to help here feel like you were there for her instead of minimizing what she was feeling and allow her to express herself.

      I’m sure it will strengthen your relationship and she’ll want to come to you with more things in the future since she knows you’re there for her and she can be honest with you.

  6. crazyma123 April 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    I found this post very encouraging. My family is going through a really treacherous mountain. The revelation that something aweful has happened is depressing, crippling, causes self focus, hardened hearts and so forth. I have been angry over how certain family members are choosing to heal and react. But, The Lord has been showing me, EXACTLY, what’s in your post. Thank you for being so candid and vulnerable.

  7. crazyma123 April 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    BTW, I shared it on my FB, that’s how much it encouraged me 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick April 26, 2013 at 5:49 am #

      Thank you for sharing that with me!

      I’m so sorry for the awful situation your family is going through right now. Life is really hard sometimes and even though we know it will grow us, that certainly doesn’t magically make it exciting or pleasant to walk through.
      And I understand completely what it’s like to not understand the way someone else is choosing to heal. But you’re so wise to focus on you and what you can control and not get caught up in the negative feelings toward someone else. It just prolongs your own healing.

      God Bless!!

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