There isn’t a day that goes by that something happens to remind me that so much in life we are just so completely and utterly unprepared for and yet we just struggle through, learning as we go. Nobody could possibly tell us or train us for the all the things we will face as life unfolds. It will always be a complete mystery.
Looking back I wish we had more skills for coping when we first start out in life, but sadly life shows us that we must learn these skills by coping with what has happened and not before it happens.
All the planning and expectations in the world will never ensure the result we wanted or the milestones we hoped for. They are simply hopes but not guarantees.
Life also reminds me not to think that I can predict people, no matter how well I think I might know them, people are not transparent and are constantly changing. Including us.
Life also reminds me that we truly need to be kinder on ourselves and others; but especially ourselves. Some of us have learned to be extremely self critical but it really can be the worst waste of our time and life, especially if we are self harming.
As I watch how people interact these days I see how quickly they can jump in to criticize and condemn others. We excel at passing judgements and looking down on others in order to feel better about ourselves. Even though we know this is some of the worst behaviors and only weakens us as a society.
We could more easily train ourselves to be less judgmental and empathic, after all no one is perfect. It’s just a case of learning how to stop, think, and acknowledge that “.. that’s [their] opinion or experience and [they] are entitled to it…” and then simply choose to move on, with respect. Although I believe this is a skill, it also gets easier the more we use it.
Life reminds me that the people who have good hearts and who show kindness are the greatest treasure in life. They are not as common as we like to think, or that we hope for, and therefore they should be appreciated and commended in any way that we can. We need people like this.
We don’t want these type of people to die out or give up. They are truly what makes the world possible to bear. When I am struggling I don’t think about the celebrity I read about or the sportsman that I watched one day, I think about the kindness and caring I have encountered along the way. i.e. That lady that gave me change to use a pay phone without a second thought. That paramedic that held my hand when I was in pain and scared (even though he didn’t know me or may ever see me again). They were more important than whoever is on the front page of some magazine or clutching a gold award somewhere.
Life has shown me that it’s always the little things that makes life worth living. It’s cliched. I know. It’s the little things that I do today that will all make up a life at the end. My life and your life are made up of these little things and if we didn’t have those little things we would miss them deeply. Sometimes we don’t even know what little things are truly worth until they are gone i.e. A friendship that has gone or a loved one lost.
Life has also reminded me that when everything else falls apart and fails there is nothing that will keep us going like hope.
Hope is sometimes the only thing that keeps us wanting to stay alive. When hope is gone life is simply a burden we carry like a weight around our bodies. Learning how to hold on to hope and to give hope is the most precious gift in this world. I know it is something I still struggle with in the darkest of times. Dark times are where hope is born and where it can finally die. Those who face more dark times and struggles will ultimate face a constant battle with hope. The battle to keep hope alive.
I know that I must continue to do what I can to master the difficult nature of hope but I am grateful for the times that someone has given me theirs when I needed it the most.