Life is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows, unknowns and welcome surprises. We all come across experiences that shape us, struggles that challenge us and moments that define us. We meet people who completely change our world and our perspectives. These people and these moments are important to keep close in thought. When you’re battling something tough they can serve as great sources of inspiration to provide clarity and the knowingness that no matter how awful something may seem…it too shall pass.
Living with a chronic illness has taught me that while life is far from butterflies and rainbows, it’s a beautiful compilation of encounters that gear us up to take on whatever may come our way. Whether it’s fighting a flare up or grieving the death of a loved one, we are constantly reminded of how quickly our current state of affairs can change.
All the recent political jibber jabber, harsh words and hate plastered on social media and making headlines is extremely disheartening and disturbing. While we’re all entitled to our opinions and to say what’s on our minds—to me, it’s more important to focus on being a good person, celebrating the blessings in my life and doing all I can to make a difference in the lives of others. Physically being a good person will do a lot more good in this world than spouting off on a Facebook status. If each person who’s taken the time to craft a social media post about their political opinion used that energy to volunteer or even connect with someone face to face or on the phone, think about how much more productive that would be.
While your current situation may feel grim—think of how many people would give anything to live a day in your shoes. Before you open your mouth to speak or act…pause and think.
Think of the thousands of people waiting for the gift of life through organ donation… staring at the clock from their hospital beds…wondering when that perfect stranger will give them a second chance. Think about that the brave babies fighting for their lives in NICUs across the country and their parents who are wondering if they’ll ever get to see their child grow up. Think about all the people who wake up and receive chemo so they can fight another day. The list goes on and on.
When you’re the person who’s going through something difficult—rather than thinking ‘woe is me’ have faith and confidence in yourself and when you look in the mirror try and find the strength to smile. If life was perfect and none of us ever faced any sort of trials or tribulations—the best, most beautiful moments would never shine as bright.
Rather than suffer in silence, share your greatest fears and struggles with those close to you. Communicating and making people aware of your pain will help you, as you won’t have to take on your struggles alone. It’s cathartic to be open—support networks (friends and family) ebb and flow… sometimes you need the boost…other times you need to give it. Depend on that, trust in it and utilize it.
I write this article as I prepare to go visit a baby in the hospital who has completely altered my perspective on what it means to be strong. Baby Jade has spent every day of her life—nearly a year (she turns one Feb. 25)—within four walls of a hospital room. Witnessing her steadfast bravery after each surgery, procedure, test and setback…and that of her parents, has shown me just how fragile life is. Despite the hardships and unfathomable scares, Jade and her parents remain focused on the future and determined to one day go home as a family. As a soon to be mom, I can’t begin to grasp what it’s like to be in their shoes, but they constantly show me and inspire me to take on all of life’s setbacks, challenges and disappointments with a positive attitude and an unwavering faith.
My challenge to you–embrace the dark days… as it makes the sun-filled ones even more promising and brighter.