Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Maybe It's A Blessing

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. Theodore Rubin

We live in a dualistic world where everything has an opposite--joy or sadness, inner bondage or freedom, peace or anxiety, bumps in the road or smooth sailing--everything. And we term things either good or bad. No one goes through life with only one or the other. We must experience both. But the quality of our life often depends upon how we interpret our experiences, and the label we put on them. Our life is what we see and how we respond to it.

Sometimes in tragedy we find our life's purpose--the eye sheds a tear to find its focus. Robert Brault

Until my early forties, I suffered with anxiety and depression. I saw these feelings as monsters in my life from which there was no escape, and I hated the suffering. Then I went through 2 years of therapy which changed my life. I went back to school and worked in the mental health field as a psychotherapist. Now when I look back, I thank God for those years of suffering, because they prepared me for the work I was meant to do, and they gave me a deeper understanding of my patient's pain. I didn't know it at the time, but those unhappy years were a blessing in my life.

We can't escape life's challenges, but we don't have to meet them with devastation and helplessness. I like what Oliver Wendell Holmes had to say about meeting those times of adversity. If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass round it. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it. We can look with wiser eyes and allow the adversity to reveal parts of us we might not see otherwise and inevitably bring deeper meaning to our life. When we survive a storm, the rainbow shines brighter.

Problems will come, and we'll either grow with them or be defeated by them. We have 3 choices.

1. Suffer with the problem for as long as it lasts.
2. Resolve the problem, learn from it, and move on.
3. If it can't be resolved, do what you can and accept it with an attitude of peace.
It may turn out to be a blessing.

Turn your wounds into wisdom. Oprah Winfrey

Blessings to you, Marilyn

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