I have met people in my life that truly are miserable. They focus only on all the bad experiences and block out any goodness in their life. They are bitter about what life has thrown their way. What they don’t realize is the difficult experiences help us learn while we are on our journey. We have the choice to step back and grow from these experiences or we can wallow in self-pity. The choice is always ours.
When I lost my husband I was devastated. I had never felt such grief and sadness. I cried more than I have ever done in my life. I always prided myself on being so strong that tears were not necessary. What I discovered is tears make you stronger. By showing my vulnerability and asking for help from friends I was able to create a richer and more satisfying life. I loved my husband very much, but I had limited myself on the depth of love I could feel for another person. I knew what it was like to feel the love as a mother for her child but to allow myself to be truly vulnerable to another human being was difficult to say the least.
I was raised by a mother who suffered from bipolar disorder. As a result, her capacity to love from a giving place was severely damaged. To this day my mother and I are estranged and seem to do better when we are not directly in each other’s lives. I do not carry around animosity for my mother and I certainly wish her well, but I am a happier and more fulfilled person when I don’t see her. She left deep scars, some of which I have healed but others may never heal. She too has scars from her mother and so the cycle goes on. I was successful in breaking the cycle with my own daughter, but I am sure I left scars on her as well.
I was taught to hold my feelings in. This was my way of surviving my surroundings as a child. However, later in life, this did not serve me well. I could have stayed in the terrible place of grief and felt angry and bitter at God for taking my husband and turning my life upside down. But instead I chose to move forward and picture how I wanted my life to unfold going forward. I visited places I had always wanted to see. I made new friends. I started going out more and living my life as a single woman. I started to date, not an easy experience at 50! I smiled more and let the tears flow whenever they needed to. I shared my feelings with friends and family and became a softer yet stronger woman. I felt God was guiding me and walking with me for the first time in my life. As a result He led me to George. George too had struggled and could have chosen bitterness and regret but instead allowed himself to move forward and focused on what was important, his son. He chose to learn from his experiences and move past regret. I believe this is why we were brought together. We were now ready to experience love and companionship on a much deeper level. Had I not experienced great loss I would not have had the opportunity to experience great joy. The next time you face a difficult situation ask yourself what could be learned to make your life richer. I am more thankful for the difficult moments, because they make me grateful for the happy times.