“A fundamental sign of mental health is one’s realization that life is hard.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
I am an optimist by nature. Sometimes to a fault. I am so eager to see the good in people and circumstances that some say I am unrealistic and naïve.
But the more I study optimism, the more I am convinced that being optimistic is a better way to live than expecting the worst at every turn.
Scott Peck reminds us that life is hard. It is full of sadness, tears, troubles and pain. We cannot ignore that fact.
At the very beginning of my own midlife divorce recovery, I was anything but optimistic about how my life would turn out. I tried to be upbeat, but in my heart I felt I would always carry around a small kernel of heartache in the middle of my chest where no one could see it but me.
I’ll admit, even years later, occasionally when I see my wasband, I wonder what went wrong. But it’s no longer a smoldering pain. It’s a realization that hard things happen in this life regardless of our best efforts.
It’s also a realization that the heartache we experience can bring power and a potential for good. The key is to make sure that we let the pain that we face refine us instead of destroy us.
A Fuller Joy To Be Found
The agonizing hurt of my divorce absolutely made me a better, more caring, more fulfilled person than I would have been had my life never been turned upside down by a real, soul-expanding, difficulty.
Life is more precious now; joys are fuller. The desire to help others is more demanding. The light of the lessons I’ve learned shines on its own without any effort on my part.
The Big Picture
God definitely has used my pain for gain. In more ways than I can even count. Let your distress drive you closer to God. Try to see what you can learn that will make the big picture of your life even brighter.
Life is hard. But the lessons we learn from pain are sometimes the most enlightening, empowering lessons of all.
“You let this distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, and end up on a deathbed of regrets.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9-10 (The Message)
I wish i felt like a better person. I try and try and still i get caught in the downhill vortex. I am 58, divirced for 2.5 years, separated for almost 5 years and i still battle self blame and worthlessness. My ex had an affair, and then we recociled for 3 years …3 more years of lying…he is now remarried , not to affair partner but to an accomplished, intelligent, very wralthy woman of my age and seem very happy. They travel the world and own two homes, one of which is three blocks from my home in our very small town. At time of seoaration my son was 15 and so i had 3 more years of school to get through with him. He still lives with me at 19 and works but is not sure what to do with his life. I need to sell my home because the bank owns it. I paid for nearly everything while wr were married (23 years) and cosigned loans for all his businesses and projects. He did pay me back some money and paid child support for 3 years. I am in debt though because of being the sole support and being foolish about not standing up for myself during marriage. My daughter was having problems through some of this and i didnt realizr. It came out that she was addicted to drugs and alcohol. She has been in 2 rehabs and is now sober for a year. She is23. I wrnt through it all alone and got money from relatives . Ex did help her with money and flights and support and so i guess i was expecting too much hoping wed deal with it together. I work and will have a pension, thank god, and i am so… Read more »