Perhaps it’s only natural to compare ourselves to others. And this seems true even when it comes to the pain and suffering of life as well. But even when there are objective differences, one person’s pain does not invalidate that of the other. And both should still be honored in their own way.
It’s clear, a papercut doesn’t compare to a knife wound. But the papercut still matters to the person who has one.
And, of course, in a medical triage situation the knife wound would take priority. But as we’re sharing our stories with each other, each wound still matters in its own right.
The person with the papercut does well to listen to and care for the heart of the one with the knife wound, and vice versa.
Love does not concern itself with whose wound is greater. It simply provides what is needed to the beloved.
As such, it is not love to say our wound is greater and therefore the only one that truly matters. Regardless of the depth of our pain, we still have the responsibility to love others well, even when it seems like their issues pale in comparison.
Likewise, we don’t have to hold back or hide the things we suffer with just because others have bigger concerns than us. Of course, it’s still good to keep things in perspective and not assume everything is exactly the same. But acknowledging differences doesn’t mean we have to invalidate our own experiences.
Our suffering still matters regardless of how small it might seem to others. And part of love is allowing others to care for us even here.
It’s a type of false humility and pride when we feel we must hide our heart and only care for the “bigger wounds” of others. It’s true humility that allows others to care for us regardless of the size of our pain.
Learn to give and receive love without the need to compare whose wound is greater. Respect the differences while still honoring the suffering in each other’s story.