All of us face tough times in life. That goes without saying. They are inevitable, unavoidable. But it’s what we do with those times that counts, because there is no growth without change.
Some of us go through a loss, or financial difficulties. Maybe we suffer through unrequited love, divorce, or a long illness. There are a zillion and one things that constitute ‘tough times’.
But isn’t that the story of our life on this planet? From the whole process of actually being born, then growing and learning, to growing old and finally departing this earth, it’s a struggle.
I have no idea why we are all here, but for me, if I don’t end up a better person than I started out, then I haven’t done very well. And it’s our difficulties that educate us. They help us to discover strength we didn’t know we had. They push us to strive for more in our lives, and sometimes give us purpose in that we can help others who are going through something similar.
Tough times and difficulties are guaranteed. But will we rise to the challenge? Will we learn from these things, and become better people because of them? Better than who we were before?
Last year, my son nearly died. It was tough, and both my husband and I pretty much collapsed in a heap six months later, once he was doing well and we could relax a bit. But, we came out of that experience with a brand new appreciation for living every moment to the full. We emerged with a drive to create memories with our kids, and go adventuring with them, rather than just working to collect things and stuff. We discovered that we take our longevity for granted, and that actually we are not in control, and we experienced the fact that it could all be gone tomorrow. We are better people for it.
Through that and other experiences, I have discovered strength I didn’t know I had. I found that I can endure grief and loss, depression and darkness. When I was younger, I pulled myself through the grief that was threatening to swallow me up, and I made it.
From nothing my husband and I have created the life we have today. We have drive and determination that we wouldn’t have, without those difficult experiences that threatened to crush our souls. We have developed loyalty, integrity, commitment, compassion, empathy, creativity, love, gratitude, perseverance and a hundred other things, precisely because we’ve had struggles in our lives.
I am definitely at a point in my life where I can say that for me personally, I consider those struggles to be good. Without them, I would not be who I am today, and I am pretty happy with the way I turned out. I am at peace with myself.
There is no growth without struggle. A caterpillar never gets to fly as a butterfly unless it struggles out of the chrysalis first. Neither does a seed ever turn into fruit without a part of it dying so that something new can grow from it.
Struggle and change are part of life. Our choice is whether to resist and fight it, or to embrace and go with it, seeing it as a catalyst for our growth. Here’s to growth from change!
See you tomorrow!