This is something we say when we don’t know what else to say. Or, we hear it when others are stumped to respond to us with much else. But I take issue with this phrase that I think is meant to comfort, but sometimes agitates us.

Maybe no one SAID it would be easy, but it sure looks that way. Since a gamut of media forms attack our nervous systems relentlessly, there is no shortage of messaging that “IT” aka “LIFE” or fill-in-the-blank is, in fact easy. Just a few examples come to mind:

~ Have a medical issue? Take a pill and it goes away.

~ Does that pill cause another condition you need help with? Take a different pill and make THAT go away.

~ Can’t afford it? Charge it.

~ Don’t need it? But want it? Get it.

~ Supersize it. Extra large it. Wholesale size the Peanut M&M’s (forget the “sharing size”)

~ Order within 2 hours and have it on your doorstep by bedtime.

~ Buy this car and you will be safe.

~ Wear this bracelet in case you fall.

Actions speak louder than words. If everything is Figure Outable (wordplay on the awesome book with the same name by Marie Forleo) as the world portrays, then what would be the point of expecting anything to be difficult? If a pill or charge card makes it all doable, why worry about things being not being easy? If a cleanse induces weight loss, why worry about eating a double portion of ______ (insert your favorite poison here.)

When I was pregnant I was told along with the other first time pregnant moms, that some of us would end up needing a Caesarian Section to deliver. “No problem” (I thought.) “I can handle that.” (And went on to have two.)

But no one said “The delivery is the easy part. You may have a baby that can’t leave the hospital right away, or at all. Ever. “

Or “Brace yourself since most infants are healthy but some need a feeding tube for their whole lives, and others die at 13 months old.”

No mention of the millions of possible outcomes (joyful and painful) that we sign up for when deciding to have kids. Maybe “no one said it would be easy” but since I never heard of “Shwachman Diamond Syndrome” or “Mastocytosis” or babies dying I had no reason to think it would be anything BUT easy. With four pregnancies, and one living son (who is the Light of my life) I can confirm, it has not been. Easy, that is.

When you have one of those days like I sometimes do, perceiving my heart to be more broken than anyone else’s just remember: There are many unconscionable items on the menu of life that have not been delivered to our tables. We all get a few bad dishes that we never heard of before, but I know for sure, there are unimaginable circumstances that describe suffering beyond my own comprehension, that I have been spared.

When you have one of those days, please join me in being grateful for our own ignorance as to what we have NOT had to endure.

And perhaps, if still using it from time-to-time, upgrade the phrase “No one said it would be easy” to “I’m sorry to hear its so hard.”

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