“People Just Like You” Series – Dolly Parton “You will never do a whole lot
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~ Maya Angelou
Bad things happen notwithstanding
We all have our stories, don’t we? I am about to share one with you, so here goes nothing :-
It was supposed to be a perfectly planned life, for someone who has spent the better part of adulthood getting what she wants like clockwork, it is almost impossible to understand the concept of not being able to control life events.
Graduated from the best schools, a dream job waiting right after, access to unlimited travels, a perfect gentleman to call her own, friends and family that seem to love her. Everything works perfectly, nothing could go wrong with the life she has, pure bliss! What’s more? Her pregnancy test just came back positive, ten weeks gone already, the family she wanted is about to be hers as well. All is well in the world.
It was just another perfect morning, the persistent ring of her telephone woke her up from a deep slumber, it cannot be morning yet her body clock says so and she was right. It was barely 4am so why was her mother’s staff calling her?
No! her mother cannot be dead, she was in perfect health! Her routine checks conducted a few weeks ago was states so. What she didn’t know was that her mother was diagnosed of a rare form of cancer a few months back. Aggressive, caught too late, terminal. How can the only parent she knows leave her without saying goodbye?
She was still grappling with her loss when the company she was working with declared bankruptcy, bad investment asset, everyone had to go. This cannot be happening; things were supposed to be solid, weren’t they?
Her husband just left the country for an urgent work assignment only he could take that morning. He should be in transit, she had no one else to turn to except her best friend whom she had been friends with since high school. She wasn’t picking her calls, but she headed to her house anyway.
How can her husband who is supposed to be Switzerland-bound for 3 weeks be the same person humping away her best friend? They had such a perfect life, how did it all go wrong?
She woke up to blinding light in room painted in white to rival the snow, how she got there she cannot say.
“We couldn’t save your baby, we tried but we had to choose you”
I want to die, everything I ever loved and wanted has been taken away from me. Why should I still be here?
Who will answer this question?
What do you do when life decides to turn on you? No, you don’t deserve the myriad of the unending troubles. The odds stacked so high against you it all seemed bleak with no visible light at the end of the tunnel.
Some stories merely create a ripple in our lives, while others go deeper. We can never be certain of the hand life will deal us.
What I have realized is that our actions are the answers to our way out. How we choose to act is a choice we only can make.
When something unexpected comes your way, take a step back, take a look around at the whole picture, and decide how you’d like to respond. It’s too scary to admit that life could be out of our control. But you should do it if you want to live and not just exist.
Permit me to present a biblical example, remember Job in the bible? Classic case of a perfect life crumbling to ashes. What did he do? Please read up, many lessons to learn.
- Accept that bad things happen to good people- it is not about your moral uprightness or sainthood. Life will test your will the cruelest of ways and it won’t be because you are the worst sinner. Even though life hasn’t turned out the way you had planned, it does not mean that you have failed. There’s no need to make excuses, judge yourself, or shy away from this truth. It’s okay to feel angry and hurt; these are natural feelings and are a part of being honest with yourself. But acceptance is necessary. Accept what is. The sooner you realize this, you will be able think clearly and take steps in the right direction with a positive mindset.
- Never ever lose hope- it may be tempting to throw in the towel, easy even. But this is the time to hold strong to what you believe in, never lose your hope, your faith. Hold on to that which gives you strength, and I dare say; that is God. No one and nothing can steal your joy or your peace when your hope is in God. Never lose your hope in God! (The Brooklyn tabernacle has a great song for this- I never lost my praise)
- Learn to be still- this helps with gaining clarity. Don’t go filling your life with frivolities and embracing debilitating behaviors. Do not sit on the ruins of your dreams whining and pitying yourself. Use the resources you have to live the life that is happening right now. You don’t have to be in denial of how life has turned out. Protect yourself from intruding opinions that add no value. People may mean well but this is not the time to take advice from every angle, it will most likely lead to more confusion. Introspect and come to an acceptance.
- Be open to the changes – Many of us have our lives totally mapped out; this is how many children I’ll have, this is where I’m going to live, this what work I want to do, we have painted the perfect picture. So when something unexpected happens that changes our life plans, it can shake us to the core. We become vulnerable, unsure of ourselves, and unsure of what to do, and this can feel very uncomfortable. What if our life is just being refined by fire like that of diamonds? This may just be the path to a glorious you. Embrace it!
- Look for the silver lining- I promise you it is always there! the fact that you still have life is a silver lining. There are real miracles all around for those who can see them, the dawn of each day, the wind you feel across your face, the beauty of the earth, the gift of life, the wonder of friendship. These are all miracles, those things we call ordinary and take for granted.
- Trust that everything will turn out well in the end- it is not over until it is truly over. All you can do is your best, go with the flow, and trust that your life is turning out as it should be. Going with the flow can be challenging, especially if you’re someone like me who likes to be in control. So remind yourself constantly that even when you try so hard to create a life that you want that it may not always go your way. And how you choose to respond to it is what matters—that’s really what life’s all about.
There’s no point hanging on to what could’ve been, because it can make us bitter and resentful. With an open heart and mind you can truly let new experiences into your life. You never know what exciting events may come your way, but that’s the beauty of it. learn from Job!
“The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” ~Job 42:12
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