5.23.16 :: Adversity

This evening I checked in with a good friend.

Almost a year ago, she shared with me that her husband had decided to end their marriage and they were headed towards a divorce. She was blindsided and naturally, heartbroken.

At the time, I was saddened to hear the news, but I also knew that as unfair as the situation was, and as badly as she felt during that time, she would eventually make it through that period in her life.

This is what she shared with me tonight:

“Everything I feared would happen in my life happened. No point in wasting time worrying. We have no control over what happens. But we can decide to be fully present and that is the ultimate blessing I think. To appreciate what is happening and absorb it in the moment.
All of the worst things that have happened in my life have been the catalyst for the best things.”

I was in the car, but instantly, inside I was jumping for joy for her! Her shiny new perspective made me smile from ear-to-ear.  She may not have seen it while she was in the thick of it all, but I just knew she would get to the other side of this and I was just waiting for it to happen for her, in her time.

I’ve been through peaks and valleys in my life. Far more than I’ve wished for. But as you will always hear me say, everything happens for a reason. I so love that she not only got to the other side of this experience, but the cherry on top: she saw the blessing in the “bad” that happened.
We say “bad things happen to good people,” but really, there is a greater purpose. We may not understand why at that very moment, but whatever it is, it’s preparing you for something else to come.
The year I lost my Dad, a couple of other things in my life were also coming to an end. A tough year to say the least. But I can look back on that time knowing that it helped me to fully appreciate the blessings (that I totally did not see coming) up ahead. Gratitude. Appreciation. Thankfulness. All things I am constantly and acutely conscious of because I’ve lost so much. I’ve learned to see the silver lining in situations. What a difference that can make in your outlook and how you move forward when faced with adversity.  I learned how to lean on my faith. At the end of the day, I hung (and hang) my hat on my faith, my belief in God seeing me through.  Whatever that is for you, lean on it — whether it’s prayer, religion, a positive outlook, or good energy — it works!
You may have seen this trending on FB last week. I shared it in my feed. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, had suddenly and tragically lost her husband last year. She spoke about it at UC Berkeley’s commencement. She calls out so many important life lessons through her loss. It was so timely and so powerful. I hope you take the time to read it. You can find her speech here.
Do I wish we were going through this? Well, of course not. But talking to my friend tonight just reinforced that there is meaning in everything.
Out of adversity comes many things: resilience, strength, gratitude, and a much, much deeper appreciation of life.

So for all the peaks and valleys, I accept everything with a grateful heart. Everything truly is a BLESSING.


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