“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
― C. JoyBell C.
― C. JoyBell C.
Today is reflection Sunday, a new segment I truly hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy preparing. I love Sundays -- a day to really think about where I'm at in life, and reflect on my previous week and get ready for the new one. I love new days, new weeks, new minutes, new anything! However, without the old, the new would mean nothing. Without looking in the past, I wouldn't be able to appreciate the now or know where to move forward.
This last year has been the toughest year for me and my family. Believe me when I say I thought I'd already had tough times! It makes me think, 'what else is in store?' Will the trials, the toughness, the craziness EVER end? Will I ever just be able to coast for once?? Why do I constantly have to have the waves crashing down on me as I'm trying to make it to shore... ALIVE... with 4 kids and a husband in tow? I just want to catch a wave and ride it in -- laughing with the wind in my hair and sun on my face. That's nice imagery isn't it?
If there's one thing I have learned about life so far it's this: Life, God, The Universe, Mr. Boogedy... whatever or whoever you believe in allows us these experiences, these moments. There is always a calm before the storm. The "calms" help us regroup and gain strength from the previous storm, to put all our building blocks into place, to build ourselves up STRONGER and better for when the next storm arrives. Whether we like to admit it or not, it's on the way.
It seems to me these storms are wake up calls. We learn and grow; "Here you go chump, let's see how you handle this one. Let's see if you can look at it, learn from it, transform, be a better person, a better human." It's always hard, but you have two choices - let it kill you or let it make you stronger. I believe this saying doesn't reference physical death- but emotionally, spiritually, it takes the twinkle out of your eye sometimes, doesn't it? It is the universe, God, etc.. pushing us out there, out of our comfort zone. We grow, learn, and help others who are experiencing the same things or possibly are about to face them and don't know it yet.
And sometimes we don't learn the lesson, and we have to be taught again, and again, and again. Sometimes we don't realize the lesson we learned until another trial hits us. Then you realize you're able to still stand on your own two feet and handle it all with a smile.
I love old people. Not only are they super cute, they have had so much life experience. They have so much wisdom. I tell my husband all the time- when I see a 75+ person, I see 2 types: ones that have let life wear them down, make them bitter, have self pity, etc... and then there are the others, those who have taken the other road. The ones who take their trials, learn from them -- and instead of hating life for the hand they're dealt, they GROW! They love to share their stories, their hardships and how they lifted themselves up and learned from it. They will have all the life lessons you really need to know!
We are all learning in this life. We all keep our stories to ourselves, because we don't want to burden anyone, we feel ashamed, we feel like no one will like us if they know what is happening on the inside or behind closed doors. But EVERYONE, at all times, is going through something, and if you happen to be in your "calm" then I suggest you reach out to anyone and everyone you can to help where you can. And more often than not, they just need a listening ear. We grow, and are more grateful for our own "storms" when we see what others go through. And don't judge. Even when you know their story- don't judge and don't preach.
With this last year and my big storm, there are certain things I am SO grateful I'm not having to endure and vice versa. When someone happens to get a piece of my story, they are amazed at how well our family is dealing with it, and they would have NEVER guessed, and I'm sure they are more than thankful they are not having to go through our storms.
Life is about learning, about growing, about loving; life is about family, about relationships, about finding the good in others. Life is for laughing about the little things. Life is about enjoying the moment(even the bad). Life is about choosing to stay positive. Life is about being a good example for others who are watching you. Life is about changing for the better. Life is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Life is what you make it -- even in the midst of your storms.