|Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash|
But then, a lyric came flying out of the speakers at me and caught my ear:
I’m proud of every tear, yeah
'Cause they got me here
That is from Rita Ora's "Grateful," and I immediately hit "rewind" (or the digital equivalent, these days), and listened to the whole thing. It's a great song, and it got me thinking about my life.
I'm in my 40s, but I feel better about life now than I did in my 20s and 30s. Perhaps some of that comes with the wisdom we gain with age, but really, I think it's more about my mindset shift in recent years. I used to focus primarily on the bad things that happened to me, but now I focus more on good things. Yes, the bad things still happen and yeah, sometimes they are awful. Yes, I still have a good meltdown from time to time. (Ask my husband how yesterday went. *g*) But then that's it. I get back up and get on with things, because I have trained myself to see the good, even in the bad things. For me, the good that came from those bad things is ME.
We aren't so different, you and I. Maybe we come from different backgrounds. Maybe we have different religions. Maybe we speak different languages. Or maybe our ways of dealing with things are different...but we have, every single one of us, traveled down some difficult roads, and some of those roads have similar features. We've hit roadblocks. Potholes have tried to swallow us whole. We've had detours. Our GPS can't connect. We lose our way from time to time.
Social status, family life, relationship status, or career—none of these matter. You could be the most privileged and successful person out there, but be miserable or lonely or have gone through a personal hell. You could be someone who doesn't have much, or has had bad health, or maybe you just failed freshman algebra, but you're basically happy, because you have a strong network of loved ones to support you through the tough times.
What I'm saying is, although the paths and backgrounds may be different, in some ways, we are all the same, no matter who we are.
We all bleed red.
We all suffer.
We all smile.
We all sleep.
We all eat.
We all hurt.
We all laugh.
We all love.
Each of us, no matter what our experiences are in life, have had to get through some stuff to be where we are today. To be WHO we are today.
I know that for myself, I sometimes have regrets, but I try not to dwell on them. I choose to learn from them. Every single experience, every single mistake I've made, every disappointment I've had, every slight I've endured, and every failed relationship in my past—all of these things are why I am who I am today.
Who I am today is also someone who recognizes every good decision I've ever made, every friendship that I still have, everything that has ever made me laugh, every good memory I've created...because these are a part of me, too. And I'm happy with who I am. I have more to learn, sure, but I wouldn't change anything from the past.
I am grateful for these experiences.
So don't look at your life and dwell on the failures, disappointments, hurts, slights, losses, or misfortunes you've experienced. Look at your life and find the lessons from those experiences that have made you into the beautiful, brilliant soul you are, but that's it. Don't dwell. Look at who you are, your true self, and smile!
And when you're done looking inward, look up and look around: see that person next to you? They're just like you in so many ways, because they, too, are the sum of their experiences and have maybe even been through some the same things as you have, good and bad. And they are a brilliant, beautiful soul, too. If they're having trouble seeing that beauty within themselves, help them find it.
Below is the song that inspired this post. I hope it inspires you to embrace yourself wholly, with ALL that entails. Love yourself for who you are.
The road may sometimes be difficult, but you've come a long way along it to a more beautiful destination.
Destination: YOU. 💛🐝✨