Have you ever heard this statement from someone in a certain timeline in your life saying, “Hay nako, bata ka pa! marerealize mo rin sa huli na hindi big deal yang problema mo!” (You are still young and you will realize in the end that your struggle is not a big deal!)
Whenever I hear someone blatantly speaks these kind of words, I feel the individual who is spoken of such gets stuck in the feelings of confusion, isolation and insignificance. These kind of statement is something that I can address as a violation of our existential reality. The person who is undergoing conflicts even in his/her youth, feels that the struggle is real – and indeed, it is! Every struggle we feel in the different stages of our lives are real!
It may be from our dilemma in gratifying our needs for food and comfort in our childhood, being brokenhearted in our teenage years, having no job in our late 20’s and even being afflicted with terminal illness in the old age – all struggles are real and genuine in their own time of existence! No one has the right to deem the person to shame by degrading their current experience just because we learned to overcome them.
What occurs to a person whose struggles are seen with insignificance is that they feel all the more secluded and that it seems their experience is very much unique, therefore, they conclude that no one understands them! (sounds familiar?). Indeed, no matter how experiences sound familiar, it plays different rhythms – our experiences as individuals are not identical to be compared with others.That’s why these individuals loathe in isolation, thinking that no one would ever understand them due to people who consider their struggles as something “small” making them feel weak because by then, they would ask themselves, “Why can’t I overcome this when for others, it is just a small problem?”
My point here is, let’s try to see people as an independent being from our own experiences. We are called an “individual” for a reason that we are still separated from others no matter how we are considered to be a social being. Let’s see people’s experiences and struggles as real and existent in their own timeline. It is essential to let them experience the piercing anxieties that come with their existence in a certain phase of their lives. And at the same time, assist them to learn how to overcome it, not by deeming their experiences as seemingly “immature” but by supporting them in their decision with care and wisdom.
Make people feel their individuality by giving importance to their relevant experiences and struggles. It is a pathway to make a person grow and mature. With this in hand, individuals will not just feel their uniqueness as a being but also develops a sense of social relatedness knowing that someone is willing to understand them.