If there’s one thing that unites us all, it’s that we all suffer. We all triumph. We all face obstacles in our lives and in encounter things that throw us off our course and challenge our inter strength. That’s life, with the lesson often seen in our retrospect. Without the difficult times, there would be no great times. Everything would just see, flat and uneventful, plain and boring.
(Home-made leek and butternut squash topped with munch seeds)
There would be no impact change without struggle. The beauty of life is overwhelming. Our self-esteem grows and we find strength in ourselves that we never knew existed. This very point had me thinking about the last few years and how I remember, during the worst times, focusing mostly on the negative aspects of the situation. How bad I felt, how dismal the situation was, how dark the world around me felt, and how I didn’t think things around me would ever change. It was a vicious cycle.
(Cashew, walnut, munchy seed salad with peanut cashew dressing because nothing else would do, despite it being the middle of winter)
But what if we focus on how our struggles change us and our lives for the better? Would it be possible to improve negative situations, if we thought about how we might benefit from them? When I was unhappy in my Eating Disorder, all I could think about was how much I’d screwed up my life. I’d spend the last decade destroying myself only to discover that anorexia never served the satisfying purpose I initially thought it would. So many days I would curse myself for being sick, but never making a point to make changes so that my life would take another, more fulfilling path.
(Beautiful cards from beautiful friends)
My negative thoughts were so powerful, I almost convinced myself that it was better to just live the rest of my life sick, empty and unfulfilled than to fact the alternative that is change. I repeatedly told myself that I would recover and (change) in the summer, in October, in the New Year, when I visited the Grand Canyon, when we moved. Of course, those events came and passed and things never changed. I often reminded myself that time was precious. Thats when I realised that I could not rot in my own negativity any longer – I was ready for change (now, not when I had retired). Instead of cursing myself for my past “mistakes” (I now call them “learning experiences”), I searched for lessons and meanings.
(Monday morning health food finds)
What was my unhappiness trying to tell me? And most importantly, what can I change about the negative to turn the situation into a positive?
((“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it’s only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers”)) – Scott Peck