Rocks for jocks

I have zero interest in rocks. None. Unless it is one on my finger, and even then I don't really care that much about carrots or cut.
Whoever wrote my degree plans, however, thought I should take a few geology classes in both undergrad and grad school. For multiple semesters in college I sat through lectures on rocks, the age of the Earth, talked about fossils and what really killed off the dinosaurs.
I stayed awake. But. Just barely.
I also remember in labs, having to classify types of rocks. chert, sandstone, obsidian.
A few were pretty...but most were just brown stones to me.
One of the ways we had to identify them was based on the Mohs scale of hardness.
You would scratch the surface of one rock or mineral on another to see which one was harder. The values range from 1 - 10, depending on how easily it is scratched.

In the hospital they always ask you to rate your pain. On a scale of 1-10.

And those scales and numbers and ways of classifying things are useful. Sometimes.

Yesterday I watched a ted talk that i haven't been able to shake. (this one) The topic was how we approach hard conversations.  The things we hide. The struggles we have to sometimes just be who we are and say what needs to be said.

She said something that totally disputed what I learned in my college geology classes.
She said this.

"Hard is not relative. Hard is just hard."

Unfortunately, I think most of the time I go around classifying, comparing and rating and justifying.

I am amazed at some of the things others have overcome. I am shamed at how little it sometimes takes to make me weep in the car.  I think my life experience (or lack there of) makes me expert enough to decide what others should feel, push through, shake off, face or break them.

I have no right.

Whose to say which is harder?
math or painting.
singing or baking a cake.
rejection or failure.
sickness or addiction.
calling back or hanging up.
saying yes or saying no.
living with lies or facing consequences.
giving or accepting grace.

Maybe you can't put a number on it. And maybe we shouldn't even try.
Hard is just hard.

What if I tried to not classify other people's hard. or hurts. and instead just acknowledged when others were in that place and tried to walk along side them.
Or,  if when I find myself in that same place that I allow myself the grace to be there for just a moment.
Rather than trying to decide if it is hard enough before telling myself to suck it up and get off the couch.

Back to my geology lab, the only way your could test a rock or minerals hardness was to scratch it against another surface and see if it left a mark.
To press one into the other and see which one gave.
And maybe when we feel the need to rate and compare and classify our own hardness, we cause this same kind of damage.

Maybe these scales are best suited for rocks and doctors.
Not our own hearts.

(photo at top credit found here