So often, I find myself asking why. Why is this all so hard? Why can’t it just be easy? Why won’t the stress stop? Why does he get to have that? Why don’t I?
We can all become inclined to think that life is meant to be easy, that the most beautiful lives are those of the mythical people who have everything. We can easily start to travel down the thought path of ‘if I just had x, then I’d be happy’… or ‘if I could just do x, then I could be content…’ We sometimes forget that the point of life has got to be more than simply to have a nice time. A lot of us just want that Facebook friendly life of posh food, good looks and cool experiences, and we believe, for some reason, that that Facebook life is everyone else’s reality. Many of us feel ground down by the mononity of our daily routines, or by the pain of grief that we cannot overcome, or by a thousand other struggles and weights of the world. And we wonder, why? Why does it have to be this way?
But the thing is, that most of the stories that truly inspire us, the ones that offer beauty and wisdom and awe, are not stories of easy lives. How boring would that film be? And how one-dimensional would that character be? It’s the struggles and battles a person goes through and overcomes that make a good film or book. We love to watch a character grapple with real challenges and gut-wrenching disappointments and raw emotions and come through. We want to see their strength unfold, their compassion for others deepen, their faith in themselves flourish.
I think most days in our lives we’ll be battling, whether we know it or not. We battle insecurity and loneliness, jealousy, disappointment and grief, stress and confusion – all kinds of things, subtle and undeniable, that can crush us and make us feel small and scared and fill us with doubt and affect our actions and relationships and destroy our peace. But I also think that each of those battles holds the potential for victory, for choices well made, for the growth of something good. There is beauty in perseverance, for sure.
I believe that there are so many tools out there for us to pick up and use to fight back against the daily barrage on our well-being. They might be as simple as calling a friend, getting out of the house for a bit, making that phone call, getting yourself a cup of tea. They might be things like listing your thank yous, organising a celebration, writing down your hopes. For me, my surest tool is prayer.
We have choices every day, choices to reach out, choices to be grateful, choices to get back up after a fall. When I look back on my story, I want to be proud of the choices I made. I want to see that I chose to really live my life, with all its pain and all its glory.