One thing that does not discriminate against age, race, or gender is struggle. Every single human, regardless of extenuating circumstances, experiences their own brand of hardship in one way or another. It is true that, depending on personal history, what one person considers a catastrophe may seem petty to another. However, all judgment aside, we all battle some form of personal adversity that alters us. While it is easy to falter under the weight of catastrophe, the fact of the matter is that we are still in control. We have all been the victims of circumstance at one point or another, but it is our attitudes about the negativity that determine our quality of life in the end.
Colossal tragedies afflict us and contort us as a human race on a daily basis. Mass murders, horrific rapes, multi-car traffic accidents, and war are what we see on the news at any given moment throughout the day. Oftentimes, however, it is the cracks in our personal lives that slowly eat away at us. It is the seemingly meagre parts of living that have the capacity to shatter us the most. The reality is that there is no one-time treatment for the faulty cards that life deals us. The only tool in our shed that is useful in times of hardship is one that we are already equipped with:
Everyday you wake up and make a conscious decision how you’re going to go about your day. Maybe you don’t wake up next to the love of your life-like you have in the past, but the bottom line is that you still wake up. Maybe you wake up and are unable to call your father because he is no longer with you, but you still wake up. Maybe you wake up to another three unpaid bills in the mail, but you still wake up. Catch the drift? We must actively take the positives along with the negatives in order to survive.
“Living,” of course, is a broad term. Living seems like a satisfactory verb, as if everyday you “live” is one filled with joy and no pain. In times of misfortune, we must take baby steps, calmly and gently wading through the muck of life until we can genuinely “live” a fruitful life again. If you’re currently experiencing a wave of said misfortune, strive to thrive before you live.
Aspire to live, as if to set a clear goal of what lies ahead.
Your devastation, heartbreak, and finances may seem crippling at the time, and maybe they are. But it is imperative to bear in mind that without the struggles, we wouldn’t be able to savour life’s delicacies nearly as much. If you never dieted you wouldn’t appreciate a slice of pizza with the same gratitude. If you never got dumped, you wouldn’t relish a fresh first date with the same excitement. If you never lost your assets, you wouldn’t know the true meaning of that first new check.
Nobody knows for sure why obstacles are placed into our lives, or why some suffer far more than others. These are answers we may never have, but that is okay. It is okay not to be okay, and this is because there is always something to look forward to, even if it’s simply waking up in the morning and thriving. Let life’s complications allow you to not wallow in sorrow, but rejoice for tomorrow.
Trouble is inevitable in this world; it is not something we can wish away with a magic wand. What we can do, however, is learn how to rise to the occasion with a stronger attitude and a game plan. There are no transparent guidelines for how to navigate through this world unharmed. But, if you learn to praise the bad times solely because they’ve led you to the good, then so be it.