You don’t have to feel happy to move forward. Feeling happy is not a prerequisite to moving forward.
Growing up, I often heard my childhood pastor say you are either going through something, coming out of something, or getting ready to go through something. These words resonated with me; although, I didn’t quite understand what he meant. I knew enough to examine his words and think about what that meant in my life, but what I did not know was just how true these words would be the more experiences I had in life.
As a child, I wondered what he meant by “going through something”. It was a little unsettling to think about. At the time, it almost seemed to me that he was implying that my entire life would be consumed by struggle or coming out of some form of hardship. That didn’t seem appealing in the least bit. However, the point I think he may have been trying to make is that our life is not absent of hardship. This is hard to grasp in today’s context when so many of us feel entitled to a life absent of struggle based on the constant imaging of perfection on social media. There are so many smiling faces, perfect bodies, and lavish trips portrayed but very rarely is this balanced with the grief we carry as we encounter obstacles in life.
What is your life teaching you?
I recently read a quote that reminds me that life is a series of lessons. It reads “ instead of asking yourself ‘why is this happening to me’?, ask yourself ‘what is this teaching me’?” It is hard to find a lesson when what you are going through seems like it is trying to destroy you. This could come in the form of the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or even a relationship (romantic or not). It’s hard to be “deep” and get past the initial feelings associated with loss or hardship in order to begin to see the “silver lining”. I am not saying ignore your feelings. Instead, I am asking you to allow yourself to feel those emotions and then think about what they reveal to you. What is coming up for you when you stop trying to ignore the discomfort caused by hardships in life?
I have come to realize that I am not exempt from hardship and grief. However, I hold the power to choose how I go through it. It doesn’t make it easier but it is empowering to know that I have the God given strength inside of me to push through the most challenging of times and for that I AM GRATEFUL.
Because I tend to believe that life is a series of lessons that teach me new ways of being, it gives me hope knowing that the perspective I hold in hardship has the potential to empower me or disempower me. I have power in what could easily be perceived as a powerless situation. Only I can assign meaning to the experience. I can allow the experience to grant me the opportunity to learn and grow or I can give it the power to overcome me.