Life isn’t always fair and just. Life isn’t always bright and good. We need the bad times to appreciate the good times but more than that they serve to teach us about life. They teach us what we are made of; where our strengths and weaknesses are. They help us to pinpoint what our values and beliefs are by testing them even sometimes to breaking point. The bottom line is, our lives are enriched by the things that hurt us. Unfortunately we often miss the truth of this at the time because we are too busy trying to dodge the bullet or hide from the uncomfortable feelings. In hindsight we can often see that the things that hurt us emotionally have been, in the end what made us change for the better. Is there a way to feel better about those hurtful times while they are happening?
The answer is yes! It may not be easy or quick. It takes faith, patience, perseverance, empathy and love. Let me explain.
There are times in all our lives when we feel as if we have been abandoned. It could be that our friends have turned their backs or just don’t seem to be available to us or understand us. We feel alone. It might be that despite our unwavering faith in a higher power, our prayers seem to go unheard and we doubt if there really is ‘someone’ listening to our words. Other times we might feel the need to shut everybody out and attempt to deal with a problem on our own, maybe because others see us as being strong and independent when inside we are scared and unsure, they really just don’t know us. At other times circumstances seem to be conspire against us, problems mount up and life seems way too difficult to deal with. All of us can most likely recall times like these that force us to question “Why me?” “What have I done to deserve this?” and have maybe forced us to wonder what the point is in being a ‘good’ person when life just keeps appearing to throw us difficulties.
The word Faith often conjures up a connection to religion. A Faith in God or some other higher power. A mystical belief in ‘something’ or ‘someone’ with an ability to come charging in at the last moment to save us from falling off the edge. But Faith is so much more than that. It is believing first and foremost in ourselves. In our abilities, our knowledge, our instincts, our reason for ‘being here’. It also encompasses Faith in life, love, humanity and many other things but without Faith in ourselves it is impossible to see it in anything. To have unshakable faith in any higher power requires a faith in ourselves as well.
Faith is, when the chips are down and we are on our knees, all we really have left. If we have Faith we understand there is a reason to pick ourselves up. We may not understand at the time what that reason is however there is usually a knowing that things will get better, that everything changes, that good and bad come and go. We all know that to be true but when we are in our dark days we have trouble accepting this truth. Once we understand this truth, we are able then to turn what has upset us into something that helps others. The pain we feel can be the fuel that inspires because for every pain we feel there are others going through the same emotions, looking for answers or searching to change things for the better. Without the pain there is no need to search in order to make this world a brighter and better place.
The next time you face a difficulty that gives you emotional pain, look at the problem not as just happening to you alone, but as being a part of life. Think about the fact that this problem is not yours alone, that there are many others facing or who have faced the same or similar pain. What might they have done about it? What can you do to promote positive change to the situation that might help others in the future. Even if is only to write about it in a blog or talk it over with friends, someone might be helped by your insights. Then again maybe there isn’t anything you can do, maybe you don’t possess the skills to make a change so don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead focus on the truth that your problems are shared, experienced, and even overcome by others every day and because of them, both the problems and the people, we are all given the opportunity to see the good in a hurtful situation.