It is a natural human belief that we are individually unique, and in so many ways we are. But there is little that any one person has or experiences that others do not as well. I am told by my patients, out of their frustration, that their friends, family, and co-workers seem better able to function than they are. They eat what they want, act how they want, and do not suffer the way they do. In short, that no one else has what they have.
There is absolutely no chance of this. No one gets away with anything. This is not meant to infer moral or ethical judgment. It is simply an observation that all actions have consequences. In addition, we do not get to see what is in another person’s path. Never have I met a person, myself included, who does not have their own issues to contend with. Everyone has issues with food, health, pain, and everything else. The problem, as I see it, is that we personalize our experience and our suffering. Disconnected from our own inner experience and path, we see illness as a problem which we can solve, fix (generally attempting to skip the solving stage), and then remain in that very brief period in our lives when nothing seemed to affect us. And we miss the obvious fact that everyone else has this, not just us. What we have, and must learn to value, is our own version of it (“it” being whatever we perceive no one else has).