I’ve been told that happiness is all about how you view things. How you interpret change, surprises, challenges, and how you overcome them usually defines how happy you are or will be in life.
It is fair to say that so far my life has been filled with surprises.
Some may call them mistakes, but I have learned to view them as surprises. Not all of them have been pleasant.
Teen pregnancy? Most would assume not pleasant, but I can happily report it was pleasant!
My father dying when I was 17? Not pleasant.
Married at 18? Pleasant (I thought so then!)
Divorce shortly after? Not so pleasant at the time, but now I can look back and see it was one of my life’s greatest blessings!
Secondary unexplained infertility? Not pleasant! But it was short-lived and I can appreciate my body for everything I have put it through! I also know now, that if I didn’t experience it I wouldn’t have my sweet son.
Looking back, most of the surprises that were heartbreaking or intensely challenging ended up being a stepping stone to something better.
Most of the change I went through molded me into a better person, mother, wife, friend, or daughter. Even losing my father shaped the way I view my relationships with people I love, and I now know how fleeting time is.
I feel like this is why people feel wiser as they age. They can look back at mistakes or surprises in life and see the path being paved. On a deep level, they understand that life, as unpredictable as it can be, is good. Life can be great if you view it that way. It can also be a scary and uninviting place if you only look at the challenges and not the growth it has brought, or is possibly still bringing!
My family is living through a strange surprise at the moment.
We had big ideas, big plans, and dreams and it is falling through. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t disappointed about it. There have been plenty of days when I can’t fake it and tears fall. I feel duped and lied to. I feel like we did something wrong and maybe if we just did this, or didn’t do that, then things would have turned out differently. I am here to remind you, even as I have to keep reminding myself, that the twists and turns and transitions in life are a place for reflection and growth. They are also a time for abundant grace and self-love.
I could beat myself up for days based on the things I misinterpreted, or for going down the “wrong path” but it won’t do me any good. I won’t love myself more for focusing on the “wrong” things. Instead, I choose to forgive myself and to move forward. I am finding alternative dreams and plans and making a conscious effort to be excited about them and not consider them second best. This challenge provides me with opportunities to grow and learn.
So whether you are in a season of pleasant surprises, a season of hardship or challenges, a season of waiting, or if you’re lucky enough to be in a season of planned and expected bliss, my advice to you is this: take it easy on yourself. Change your perspective if need be and learn from it.
Are any of you struggling with perspective at the moment? I would love to hear how you cope with unexpected challenges or surprises in life!
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