December 4 – Gifts

Happiness is a choice we make everyday. It’s easy to despair when things go wrong. To blame, condemn, and criticize others for our misfortunes and their shortcomings. It is much harder to accept responsibility for our feelings and acknowledge our own role in the situation.

seaport during daytime

On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

Our lives don’t always go smoothly. In fact, many of us have had many traumas and struggles. When we are in the midst of a difficult time, it is hard to see it as a gift. Nevertheless, at some level, every experience is an opportunity for learning.

When we spend our energy blaming and complaining, we are handing our power to those whom we blame. Our time and energy is well spent when we stop and say, “What is my part in this situation, and what do I have to learn from it?” In doing this, we are not blaming ourselves. We are not blaming at all. We are opening ourselves to glean whatever learnings there are for us. It is in this process that we become whole.

With every failure comes another lesson to be learned. The important thing is not that you did not succeed, but rather that you learn from the setback and keep going. Life will not always go according to plan. When you look hard enough though, even in the most dire of situations one can find a silver lining.

This is true even in circumstances that seem entirely beyond your control. The most hopeless and devastating times often provide the best lessons. In the midst of grieving the loss of my mom barely into adulthood, I was still able to find the light in the situation and to feel true gratitude for the lessons the experience brought. It taught me compassion, patience, to value my time here and never take a single moment—or person—for granted. I have no doubt that losing her has made me a better person.

If I can find the good in what was easily the lowest point of my life, trust that you can too. You can’t change how you feel, but you can choose how you react. And that makes all the difference.

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