Bearing the joy of others

I pray you if you love me, bear my joy

A little while, or let me weep your tears;
I, too, have seen the quavering Fate destroy
Your destiny’s bright spinning–the dull sheares
Meeting not neatly, chewing at the thread,
Nor can you well be less aware how fine,
How staunch as wire, and how unwarranted
Endures the golden fortune that is mine.
I pray you for this day at least, my dear,
Fare by my side, that journey in the sun;
Else must I turn me from the blossoming year
And walk in grief the way that you have gone.
Let us go forth together to the spring:
Love must be this, if it be anything.
(Edna St. Vincent Millay)I am not the type of person who enjoys poetry, but this poem really struck me. The first line just grabbed me at I pray you if you love me, bear my joy. So often I complain about the things others are doing or accomplishing that I can’t do. I complain about people acting like I’m worthless because I don’t have the same achievements and it hurts me when people constantly brag about how many wonderful things they are doing. I can’t stand people who constantly feel the need to advertise how wonderful they are. At the end of though day though I know that if I love them I should bear their joy.

I’m sure this poem means something different than what it means to me (I never understood poetry, I’m way too literal) but it was a good reminder for me to be happy for others. Through the strength of love I can endure the golden fortune of others even if there is no golden fortune for me. Through the strength of love I can ignore my aching heart and bear the joy of others. I can cry happy tears for their golden fortune even while momentarily suppressing my sad tears brought on by chronic illness. Love is taking someone by the hand and staying by their side through their journey as they stay by your side through yours. As we bear their joy they can walk in grief with us as we carry our burdensAnd in the end we can go forth together in the spring.

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2 thoughts on “Bearing the joy of others

  1. Thank you for reminding me not to be so negative on others "golden fortune". I have been struggling with this the last few weeks after having signed up for Facebook because of a friends urging for me to join. I shut down my facebook page after 48 hours due to the depressing depiction of everyone's life being "perfect" when mine is horrible and depressing. I was very angry at God and myself because my life is so much less than what it used to be. But your right, if I love them I should bear their joy, even though I feel they don't have compassion for my pain. Anger just makes the pain more painful and the sadness greater. I am constantly trying to remind myself that not everyone can comprehend what a chronically ill person goes through, they cannot conceive the change that takes over your life when chronic illness takes over. But as hard as it is, I need to remind myself to take a higher road and be happy for my friends and family even when I feel like I'm forgotten and left behind, because in the long run, doing so is better for my health and well being. Continue your wonderful work, Shelley, in trying to help the world understand how difficult life is for all of us who are in pain and are sick continuously and just can't express in a kind way how we are feeling. Thank you…

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