Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. ~Oprah Winfrey
No matter where we are emerged in life, we all have different challenges, obstacles and struggles. When I was young, I believed that those people with the big houses and the nice cars had everything and life was easy. Then I grew up and met some of those individuals and realized their struggles and challenges were simply different. Every life has struggles and challenges.
I learned young in life you are either a victim of life or blessed to live. I decided to be blessed to live. I decided to take every challenge, every situation I faced, and find the blessing that was hidden within the struggle.
I have shared my life journey with many and some look at me and wonder how much of that did she make up? How are you “normal,” whatever that means, if that is your story? The reality is my early recognition that you are either a victim of life or blessed to live has been my blessing. Because of this the assessment of my life, in spite of my challenges and struggles, is: “I have lived a very blessed life.” This is the story I tell myself. This is the lens with which I see the world and in doing so, the world I see is completely different than others. I had the opportunity to spend time with a young person who feels he was wronged on a few occasions and holds those who wronged him with complete disdain. He holds this feeling like a badge of honor and feels completely justified in how he feels, completely unwavering.
His story he is telling himself is that he has been wronged and in response he will remain unforgiving and in doing so he is clenching onto anger. When we hold something too tight our muscles will rebel, and pain will be experienced, often in areas of our body different from where we are holding on. The same holds true with negative emotions. They spill over into other areas of our lives and eat away at who we are and ultimately our happiness.
As I child I witnessed this with family members and knew that holding on to what was wrong and surrounding yourself with individuals who participated in this behavior was not the person or the life I wanted. So, I made choices which minimized those situations from my life. Then I decided to always own my actions.
Life has struggles and loss,. There are challenges we must overcome,. I have no idea the path you have walked or the burdens you must carry. However, I believe when you can find the blessing in life and let go of the struggles and challenges you can begin to forgive. Anger anchors you to that moment and limits your ability to move forward and this becomes your story. Or you can recognize the burden, release your anchor to it and it becomes a wound which can heal and a lesson you have learned and moved on from.
What is the story you are telling yourself? Are you the victim? Or are you blessed to live?