Why would anyone in they’re right mind be happy when life throws us a lemon, or 5 lemons?!
I’ll tell you why.
First I want to say, my life hasn’t been easy, it’s been harder then most, others have definitely had it worse, but mine has not been easy.
So I am not coming from a point of view where the hardest thing I have had to go through is failing a test at school or not getting the job I wanted.
No, no, it’s been a lot harder then that.
I’m a full believer that we must take care of ourselves before we can fully take care of others.
So when life gets tough, yes, we definitely need to develop healthy coping mechanisms such as;
Exercise, eating properly, having enough alone time to process things, having supportive people to talk to, hobbies, work and nature.
However it gets tricky when we get past feeling sad or disappointing and we start crossing into negative thinking or even depression.
I think most people can pick themselves up after a day or two, or a week even, and are able to regain their regular routine.
However sometimes when life throws the REALLY big lemons, people tend to deal with it quite selfishly actually.
Didn’t I just say to take care of yourself though?
It’s important to take care of yourself, but to a certain extent. Once it crosses into victimizing yourself to everyone and everything, that’s when it becomes selfish.
I have undergone a sudden death of a close family member, suicide of another, a couple hard breakups, abandoned by a family member, abused by a family member, I’ve had a broken heart, I’ve been lied to about serious life changing things and I myself have inflicted situations that have harmed me.
That being a very brief summery on the surface of just what kind of lemons life has thrown at me, I can’t stress enough to people that I wish I hadn’t been so selfish during those times.
Again, yes I was sad, most of the time rightfully so! I was disappointing and hurt and those are totally normal feelings to undergo.
However, lately I have been going through now a new personal heartache and I’ve found myself really going past the “sad” phase and getting lazy.
Being sad isn’t my fault, but I can definitely choose what I do with my spare time, what I dwell on and how I perceive my reality.
I’m not saying sadness isn’t debilitating, I know it is.
I’m just kinda throwing out a new way to think BEFORE it gets to the point of depression of any severity of any kind.
Lately as I was entering the stage of lying in bed more then I should, neglecting to clean, not really making food, feeling sorry for myself, feeling angry at a lot of people, blaming myself and others. It really dawned on me that although I am undergoing a pretty hard life situation, who am I to complain?!
Why does it make you uncomfortable that I’m suggesting you DON’T “feel” your feelings.
Perhaps your like a lot of people, even including myself at times, that enjoys being the victim.
Who wants to self loath? Sometimes it’s easy because really the only person to blame is ourselves.
However when there are others involved, especially in a relationship, it’s easy to point the finger and shift the blame.
Sometimes it is someone’s fault and you have every right to be sad and hurt, but really, who am I, who are you, to sit around and feel sorry for yourself?
I live in North America, Canada to be specific. It’s a first world country and it really hit me recently that here I am complaining about my personal situation, relational to be exact, yet I have running water, I have a roof over my head, I have friends, I have at least one family member alive still, I live in a country where I can choose whatever religion I want, I have endless educational and work opportunities, I live in a society where there are laws, I have clean food, I can count on not dealing with racism, really the list could go on.
Other people in other countries DON’T have that.
Imagine going through a family death, a breakup, a lost job, a failed course, a divorce or a serious illness but with no running water, a community of war, corruption, no home, floods, poverty, abuse, the list could go on.
I am not belittle your situation, or even my own.
I am just encouraging people to maybe stop with the self pity and think about what you could do for someone else. It will feel SO good when you feel the lowest.
Rule of thumb usually is, when your seriously upset or even depressed, the thing you want to do the least is usually the exact thing you should be doing.
The thing you are tempted to do is the very thing you should not be doing.
So pay for the other drivers coffee in the drive thru, give some food to the homeless, go visit a family member uninterrupted with no technology, bring a friend out for food and pay, donate food, donate clothes, become a youth leader, serve at your place of worship, donate money to a charity. You get the point.
I think the world would be a different place if you and myself, gave, even in times of trouble.
I had done a few things this summer that benefited someone or someone less fortunate.
Shortly after in the Tim Hortons drive thru, the cashier told me that the driver in front of me paid my bill.
It’s such a small, simple gesture, one I am sure a lot of people had experienced. I never had up until then and it felt really really nice.
I took it as a metaphor for how the people I helped felt. It felt good and allowed me to dwell on my own sadness.
My last point is that we really should be glad were going through something.
It was hard to type that since I am currently going through something quite traumatic, but I know in the end things will work itself out.
It might not be my timing or work out the way I want it to, however there’s so much evidence of hope in our world that I know it will work out to some degree.
Some might be thinking, “things never workout for me”, well join the club, me either.
Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I literally have the worst luck and find myself in the strangest situations or undergo really intense things that not a lot of people my age have.
If I didn’t go through anything, who would I be? Who would you be?
Maybe you know someone, I think we all do, who’s had every life lemon clear the walkway for them and they’ve seemed to just glide through life.
I fully believe their time is coming and they won’t be equipped or despite having an easy life, they wouldn’t really have gained valuable experiences.
Sometimes I think I rather have an easy life and not know a whole lot about anything.
Really though, that’s what makes everyone unique, it’s their experiences. Sounds cheesy, but it’s really true.
So let’s embrace the hard times and let’s shift our things to give at the times we feel like we deserve everything and our lives are so “awful”.