One day you will look back on your life and realize it was perfect. That everything good and bad that ever happened to you was perfect, and that there were in fact no failures. If you can have that realization today, your life will always be good.
I recently posted that on my facebook page and it got a lot of responses. Some people understood completely what I was referring to, while others seemed to think I was minimizing pain, loss, suffering, and tragedy and suggesting that nothing bad ever happens to us. A facebook page is a poor place to have a lengthy discussion so I decided to write an entire article explaining what I meant by that comment above.
We all have ups and downs in life. We all have experiences that scare us, challenge us, or even completely unravel us. Sometimes tragedy strikes. Sometimes something truly horrible happens to us. And we feel upset, angry, sad, alone, afraid, or bereft. No one is suggesting that you feel fantastic if you are mugged, raped, beaten, abused, or lose a loved one. What I am suggesting is that every experience you have shapes you. And you can decide how it shapes you. Yes, you can decide how you will internalize it, how you will feel about it, what you will do about it. In essence, life may trip you, and you may not have control over when and how that happens, but only you decide if you will stay down or climb back to your feet, dust yourself off, and keep going. Only you will decide if a tragedy will bury you or launch you to greater heights.
When I look back on my life, there were a lot of trips and falls. From age 17 – 21 I was raped and ended up in an abusive relationship with a young man. I had panic disorder with agoraphobia from age 21 – 24. When I was 30 I went bankrupt. When I was 34 I was told my son had cerebral palsy and might never walk. When I was 40 I separated from my husband. At the time all of these things happened, I was shoved to the ground and stepped on by Life, the wind knocked out of me, unable to catch my breath, and I didn’t know if I could keep going. But each and every time I got up and kept going, and what’s more, I realized somewhere along the way that each and every one of these experiences made me who I am today, and I love who I am today. Would I change anything if I could?
From my abusive relationship I learned that you can’t rescue someone and you can’t wait for them to change or get better. They are who they are. From having panic disorder and overcoming it, I realized that I don’t need to take life so seriously, and that nothing bad can ever really happen to me. From my bankruptcy I learned that only I am responsible for my finances and that you should never spend more than you make. From my son I learned that perseverance and love are stronger than a diagnosis. From my separation I learned that I can stand on my own two feet, take care of myself, and even thrive emotionally as a single person. How would I have learned those valuable lessons if I hadn’t had those “horrible” experiences? Life brings you the lessons you need to have. How you interpret your tragedies is up to you.
I’m not saying that if someone murders your child you should throw a party. Of course you are going to hurt. Of course you are going to be knocked down. Of course you’re going to wish it had never happened. But from that tragedy you will find the lesson, and in the process you may even help hundreds or thousands of other people.
Life is perfect. It is full of opportunities to grow, learn, and help others. By the time you reach the end, you will have scars. It just means you were playing the game with all your might.
Realize that life is not trying to beat you down. Life is trying to help you understand your self. It’s trying to help you utilize your inner strength and power. It’s trying to help you use your free will to have an amazing life.
If you’re not happy with your life, try changing your perspective. When you realize that you have the power to view life as a gift, even in the face of tragedy, your life will be good. Even when it’s bad, it will still be good. There’s tremendous power in that realization.