I found this in a friend’s journal a while back and had been holding onto to it knowing that when the time was right, it would touch me.
“It isn’t the things that are happening to us that cause us to suffer, it’s what we say to ourselves about the things that are happening. That’s where the suffering comes from.”
Now I don’t, by any means consider myself to be suffering or even to woe is me, have suffered. Looking back, even through the stumbles, the challenges and the losses, I’d never say I’ve suffered. I don’t have any regrets. I figure that life is what you make of it. As far as I know, I might not be the person that I am if I hadn’t experienced all that I have; the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows. But strangely, this weekend at book club (The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard) this message reached out to me on some level.
I lost my mom when I was young. I’m sure it was a very painful experience. In fact it must’ve been painful enough that I’ve blocked out 6 or so years of my childhood (3 years old through to 3rd grade). But I can also honestly say that I really didn’t miss my mother all that much. I mean, I’m sure that I did miss her, just in ways that I didn’t realize at the time. But really, it’s hard to miss something that you never had, you know? I really don’t believe in a heaven or a hell, I strongly believe that my mother has always been a part of my life and was and is always with me.
I honestly believe that I am the strong, nurturing, caring, confident person that I am because of my loss. I’m sure, that while I may not remember my early teachers, I can remember the impact that my teachers had on me during those years and they’re influence is one of the reasons that I went into teaching. I’m also fairly certain that I went into the mental health field because I wanted to be able to help people to help themselves. I don’t want anyone to ever think that they can’t overcome anything that life throws at them. There’s just no need to suffer when you can create whatever life you want.
So instead of focusing on the challenges and stumbling blocks that life throws your way, take a moment to see the opportunity. There is power, much power in both your thoughts and beliefs. So think it, believe it and be it. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather think myself in a happy, joy & love-filled place than think myself in a place of pain and suffering. Choose wisely and don’t be afraid to help yourself (or to ask for help) in creating the life that you want for yourself.
Wow, this went to a totally different place than I had originally planned to go. Guess I had something on my mind afterall. There just might be an edit waiting to happen in here so don’t be surprised.