Every story is made up of beauty and tragedy and is intertwined with the beauty and tragedy of others. There are disappointments, heartaches, and lots of bad stuff but there is also so much good. Watching my mother slowly and tragically lose herself to addiction taught me a lot of bad but it allowed me to also learn there is so much good in people. Going to 15 schools in 9 years grade (some multiple times), having neither parent (not as parents – and I mean no disrespect to them- they have their own tragedies), seeing so much ugly, being raised by grandparents and an aunt, losing my grandparents, having a life tragically affected by drugs, alcohol and junk and having a parent who spent time in the penitentiary has taught me more good than bad.
It taught me about love, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, hope and faith.
- There are sweet loving beautiful people in this world who do great things.
- Love, hope and faith can get you through some of the toughest times of your life.
- God is good.
- Boring (or uneventful) really can be a good thing.
- People who know you…I mean really know you and love you unconditionally are a gift.
- Having roots is important.
- People are more important than things.
- Family and friends are a blessing.
- There are people who can love you like you are their own.
- There are many different perspectives – spend time seeing those.
- Perception is individual.
- You always have a choice.
- You are not defined by your past.
- You are not destined to become the troubled part of your parents. You can choose their good and carry it forward.
- You can change history.
- Your kids teach you so much and are such a gift.
- Don’t judge others until you walk in their shoes (which is impossible by they way- so don’t judge).
- Seek first to understand.
- People who are the hardest to love need it the most.
- Having someone for the last 25 plus years who sees you at your worst, loves you through it and always tells you how beautiful you are even at your worst is a blessing.
- Sometimes you will never know another’s pain. Show love.
- You could be the only joy a person experiences in their day.
- Never let yourself be a victim.
- What you look for is what you’ll find so always look for the good.
- The seasons of life are always changing – nothing stays the same.
- Savor the sweet moments.
- When one door closes another opens.
- Receiving unconditional love is a blessing but being able to give unconditional love with no expectations is a blessing that is freeing and full of joy.
I would never wish addiction on anyone. It robs us of so much including innocence. But I believe there is always good and we can find it when we look. Sometimes we can’t change our circumstances but we can change our thoughts.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale
Sometimes we spend way to much time focusing on the bad and we become paralyzed by it. Don’t let life’s tragedies harden you or turn you into something ugly. Allow them to soften your sweet heart so you have more compassion and empathy. When we offer Mercy and Grace to others we sprinkle the world with a little more sweetness.