Nov 052013
Inspirational messages

You are not alone if you feel guilty from all the inspirational messages portrayed in the media. Photo by Fran Childress

I am so frustrated from reading all the inspirational testimonies from people battling catastrophes! The man who has brain cancer smiles in his viral video, the woman who beat the odds and ran a triathlon race without a limb (or limbs) and all the other media sensations that is supposed to make us ‘feel good.’

Well, it doesn’t.

It actually may have the opposite effect on most of us by the subtle message it gives us. The message belittles the true, innermost feelings of most people who are experiencing struggles. We feel like we shouldn’t be sad. Our feelings of sadness are now shameful compared to ‘them’ and we should be happy no-matter-what. When we can’t be happy like them, that confounds our despair and ultimately adds to the sadness.

While these inspirational messages do give us hope, they are the exception!

To present these inspirational testimonies as a common occurrence diminishes our own feelings of despair. Like our sadness means nothing and we are wrong to feel this way. Subsequently, we start to feel guilty when we cry.

We aren’t suppose to cry, like all those other people who the media raves about who have learned to be happy with their tragedy. How come we can’t be happy when disaster strikes us? Are we the different ones who are negative? What is wrong with us?

That subliminal message is actually harmful to the majority of people facing their own struggles. It makes them feel like they are being selfish when they can’t ‘feel’ inspired.

Five Stages of Death – true inspirational message

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is okay to cry. If you can’t participate in an event because of your physical limitations, it is okay to be sad. These emotions are normal, contrary to what the media portrays.

We can’t smile all the time because we hurt, we can’t do things like others because of our physical limitations. We get sad and sometimes cry.

Yes, we cry and that’s okay. Keep the inspirational testimonies in perspective.