Finding the Good Between the Bumps and Bruises
This past year, for me, has been tremendous in many ways. Fabulously wonderful things have dropped into my lap, and, some not so very fabulously wonderful things, as well.
For you see, as is the case with all things, there must always be balance. And so following every fabulously wonderful thing, it seemed, there was something much bigger for me to experience, to understand and grow from.
I have always viewed everything in my life, all of those ups and downs, as being there for a “reason.” I have always found, that no matter what, something wonderful always comes from these sometimes humbling experiences. For this reason, I wear my “bumps and bruises” with much pride—showing them off as a young child might show off a new toy.
“Look, see what *I* have? Look at how wonderful it is!”
Because inevitably, it’s just these experiences that bring me the most wonderful stories to share. These bumps and bruises are like stories unfolding, with twists and turns, heroes and dragons… and always a “happily ever after.”
This year, I have experienced many challenges in my life, both spiritually and physically. It’s in these moments, that it becomes most pressing—all that I have lost. In these moments when we feel our hearts are lost and our spirits overwhelmed, it becomes so easy to wallow in a shadow or two.
And so it goes: this morning, as I was getting ready to face my day, I had a bit of a tumble—the result of a little unsteadiness and a whole lot of clumsy. As I hit the ground, I felt a pop, a searing pain rolled over my body, brutally forcing out everything that dared to cross its path.
As I lay still in its wake, my mind wandered over to a shadow and I sat quietly, and began to cry. I cried for all that I have lost in this year. I cried for the energy required to face those things with resolve and a smile. But mostly, I cried because it really hurt. And as I took a long slow deep inward breath, a thought came over me with so much force it nearly took that breath away. In that moment, I listened.
“Stop your crying,” it said to me.
“Breathe,” it continued.
“Look for the good,” it reminded.
I felt a peace wash over me, and though, the physical pain was still very much there… all of that which was there casting such a very big shadow… suddenly disappeared.
Sometimes it takes falling hard on your ass, to pop that most very important thought into your head.
Nothing is so great. Nothing is so overwhelming. Nothing is so life shattering that we can not take a moment to find our center, and really look for that good.
My good is that I have wonderful family and friends who love me. My good is that I am doing what I love most. My good is that my life is abundant.
And that is all and everything that matters most of all.
Even with a gimp shoulder, I am blessed beyond words.
And, tonight, I shall think about a woman who embodies the spirit of optimism and gratitude. At 108 years old, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer greets every day with a vibrant passion and glow. If you ask Alice how it is that she experiences so much joy in a life filled with hardship, she will smile delicately, lean in, and share with you her secret, “I look, where it is good.”
Thank you, Alice, for coming to me in a moment where it mattered most that I look where it is good.
This universe is beautiful.
This world is beautiful.
Life is beautiful. Live it, no matter how often it is that you may fall hard on your ass.
Editor: Brianna Bemel
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