I was prepared for life to not be perfect but I never prepared for this…
Growing up in poverty, I was taught to focus on what you need and be grateful that you had anything. I was aware of the hard work and sacrifices my parents had to make to keep us clothed and fed. Initially, I handled bullying from kids who came from higher-income homes very well. My parents taught me that everybody has different blessings in life, and you can’t be jealous of what other people have.
They also taught me the value of a dollar and that happiness will only ever come from the inside. Additionally, it prepared me to understand that even if I could afford nice things, they wouldn’t bring me the things my soul needs, so you had to balance.
OK, check on all three.
Life isn’t fair, some people are more prosperous, and happiness is intrinsic. With this arsenal, I could combat anything. The majority of people are highly driven by material wealth, and I found it humbling that while I aspired to more, not having a house or diamonds wouldn’t make or break my spirit.
I always had a sense of happiness, knowing that sometimes in life, you don’t get everything you need. I didn’t realize that sometimes life gives you things you didn’t ask for and thrust you into chaos for lessons you didn’t even know you needed to learn.
I knew struggle from my humble childhood but hadn’t yet been introduced to another level of pain, emotional. I had no idea that life could drag a person down so low to force them to question their very existence. Like so many others who thought life would only give us what we could handle and that we could turn any negative situation into a favorable position.
I knew that poor choices could often lead to gritty outcomes. I just was new to the concept that even if you are making the right choices, loving the people around you, handling your responsibilities, and being a leader in your church and community ( basically a “good person” by definition) that trouble will find you anyway.
There is ‘natural’ grief in losing a loved one because everyone understands that pain due to it being a shared experience. No one escapes death. But, our life choices and experiences, while relatable in theory, are not the same.
Pain is subjective, and it cannot be ‘seen’ by anyone other than the person experiencing it. -Thrive2Inspire
I lost everything. Not overnight. Slowly. Like a virus. Killing every good part of me until there was nothing left, and I had to decide the kind of person I would be to a world that has shown me nothing but pain.
I am currently writing a book on exactly what happened. Still, for now, I share this point because I don’t want anyone out there to be filled with questions they can never answer—and perplexed by situations and people they will never understand. Life is an enigma in that way.
Life is not a machine. It can not be managed. There is no code that we can enter to get the life we want. Life must be lived, digested, and withstood. Life doesn’t require you to be happy, nor does it require you to have everything single thing you think you need to make it.
Life is here to make a more significant point than our vain endeavors. We are raised with hope, ambition, and the idea that we somehow can control the outcomes if we do the right things, be good people, harm no one, keep your head down, and your goals humble. But, the reality is life doesn’t discriminate.
Life doesn’t care if your good works are comparable to Mona Lisa. Life doesn’t care if you are a war hero saving hundreds. Life happens to teach the soul. I know I was shocked to find out that being the right person isn’t enough to have a ‘good life.’
Now don’t get me wrong. I have a vast imagination. Something life’s darkest moments never took away from me. I believe in hope. I believe in dreams. I also believe in fate. Sometimes who we want to be is not assigned to our soul. We inadvertently call ‘purpose.’ Your purpose (the reason you were born) may not be tied to your passions (the things that make you who you are).
Perhaps that real intention of life is the ability to find peace in times of chaos, similar to the mess we find ourselves facing now. The actual test of the human spirit will never be known under the pretense of happiness. Pain and suffering are necessary to build our’ faith,’ ‘love,’ and ‘strength’ muscles. Without pain and suffering, how would we know what we are truly capable of handling?
So if you face unavoidable suffering, I challenge you to turn away from the chaos and look inward to see the messages being brought forth to carry you into your purposeful future. Here’s a quote that sums this up perfectly from Life Hack writer and life enthusiast Anna Chui:
“You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.”
One day the dust will settle, and you will find that while you may lose material things and people who lack the level of empathy necessary to be by your side during the darkness, you will find your light as long as you always remember that your emotions are in your control. You may feel pain but allow it to pass as merely as a single breath.
Life has no value to the tethered soul, but the free spirit, the dreamer, the creative, you inherently desire it. May this post bring you the importance of understanding that God indeed laughs when we tell him our plans. Stay in high spirits, hopeful, and healthy. Never forget that the messy moments in life create the best memories and make way for gratitude.
If you find yourself in an untimely or unwanted circumstance as much as your human body is telling you to feel what you’re going through, try to live through it with consistent daily actions representing that fulfillment you seek.
Take life in stride, and I promise you, everything will work out in the end. Figuratively speaking, “Nothing that is meant for you will pass you by.”
Questions or comments? Please put them down below. I read every one. I want to know if you have experienced unavoidable suffering or if there is an aspect of your life you were taking for granted before Co-Vid; how has that changed? Let’s spark a conversation and inspire someone on the path to their dreams.