I meet people every-day who no matter how good they have it, seem to find some gloom. I also meet people who have the odds stacked against them, but face each day with a smile, a spring in their step and a pocketful of hope.
It’s true that some challenges seem daunting especially when they become your every-day.
I’m not talking about a looming exam or a project in renovating your home, the trial of moving halfway across the country or finding a new job. Those things come to you and pass soon enough.
I’m talking about situations that redefine your life.
Becoming a widow, a single mother, an amputee, raising a child with cerebral palsy, a figure altering operation like a mastectomy and scars that you wake up to every morning. I’m talking about life events that have the potential of destroying any vision of the future.
You wake up to a whole new world and there’s no easy escape route. It’s your new reality, dished out by unpredictable circumstances for you to now live out every-day. I know what it’s like because I too have watched my picture perfect world spiral into utter chaos, leaving me in a state of catatonic despair.
One of the critical lessons I’ve learnt is that a trial is a trial – whether it looks trivial to people on the outside or intense. The weight of the situation is not determined by a universal scale, but by the person or people in the situation. So whether your situation is terrible or not too bad – you decide. But if you feel like I felt, that your situation is hopeless; read on.
Life as always, is about the choices you make. Again, I challenge you to choose to live and not die.
I’m not even talking about suicide here. I’m talking about the death of visions, dreams, hopes, ideas, projects, enterprises that once burned inside of you. I’m talking about the death of a soul, long before the body is in the grave. I’m asking you to fan the embers and spark up your life again.
Today, I invite you to choose life. Choose that no matter the circumstance, your knees will not buckle but rather, you will choose to steady the ship of your life. The tides may have come strong against you but you still hold the rudder – and that is the power to choose.
“Choose, you say?”
Do I hear?
“I didn’t choose this life, this family, this disease!”
Hold that thought while I’ll share a quote by Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. He endured and survived the most inhumane conditions in several concentration camps including Auschwitz.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
You will never have it all or have complete control over all that happens to you. So get over it and accept it as a fact.
I urge you today though to take an inventory of your life.
After I seemed to have lost it all, I sat down and began to write down what I had left. I had my faith, air in my lungs, my daughter, an amazing family, wonderful friends, a job and slowly but surely, the sun began to rise from the horizon, giving me hope and a beautiful view of my future, one day at a time.
I urge you to do the same. Even if your list ends at one thing and nothing more – there are days I have felt and still sometimes feel that way; know for sure that that one thing is enough for now.
Choose to be thankful. Choose to maximize whatever you have. Choose to be positive, hopeful and full of life, because in spite of the ‘over-a-zillion things’ you cannot control; these, you can.