We think life is hard. Work is hard. Raising a family is hard. Paying bills is hard. Stress surrounds us and we think we are at the breaking point. We gather with friends and family and complain about the weather and the economy. Then we become ill or someone we love passes away and we want to close our eyes and give up.
We think life is hard.
I know. I have experienced health issues and I have lost loved ones. I have had times when I wasn’t sure I could carry the burdens on my shoulders for one more step. The last two years have magnified the stress of life and forced our pressure points to extreme levels. The turbulent climate of our lives has pushed politics and societal values to the boiling point for many of us. Friendships have been destroyed, families have clashed and the stability of our schools, churches, and workplaces has been rocked.
We think life is hard.
I thought life was hard, until now. Now I see war. Not a movie where the actors are pampered with cool water and fans during the breaks from filming - but real war. I see families ripped apart. I see children clutching stuffed toys as they tearfully say goodbye to everything they know. I see husbands pushing their wives and families to safety as they stay to protect what they call home. I see women, children and the elderly in crowded train stations waiting to be taken to an uncertain place of shelter. I see tanks in the streets where people in cars should be driving to work and buses should be taking children to school. I see bombs light up a night sky like a fireworks celebration, but instead of creating joy they land with the powerful destruction of homes, businesses and communities.
I see tears.
I see fear.
I thought life was hard, until now. Watching this I realize all we have can be taken in one moment. I have seen this happen with the destruction of floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. I have seen the devastation that can be caused in a moment. This feels different. Maybe it is the moment-by-moment updates on the news and social media outlets that bring it to instant life. Maybe it is the predictions we are given as if we are all in a game of Battleship and being told what the next move might be. Maybe it is the sobbing children and the faces of fear. Maybe it is the uncertainty that travels across the globe and lands heavily in my heart.
I thought life was hard. Now I think of the abundance we have. Even in the last few difficult years we have so much to be thankful for. Did it take this world situation to open our eyes to how fortunate we are? We may not be able to buy avocados at the store and automobile prices are high. We may have health issues and say goodbye to loved ones at some point in our life. Life isn’t meant to be easy. It is in the challenges that the lessons are learned. Life is messy, but I don’t think life is meant to be devastatingly hard.
Maybe it has been the boiling of the past two years that has brought the world to this point. Maybe the pressure was too much. Maybe the anger was too much. Maybe the uncertainly and dichotomy of beliefs was too much.
I know I am an optimist. Call me Pollyanna if you like, but I believe to my very core that people are meant to be good. That we shouldn’t hunger for kindness, but it should be given freely in thirst-quenching amounts. I believe we are here to learn, teach, love and be loved. It is that simple.
At times we all become so centered on our problems that we forget to open our eyes to the bigger picture. We overlook what we should be grateful for. We take for granted the simple things in life that are the most important. We forget to be kind, caring and compassionate. What does it take to open our eyes?
Pennie’s Life Lesson: Open your eyes to see all there is to be grateful for and share kindness and compassion with others. We need this now more than ever before.
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There is a certain magic about where I live both physically and spiritually – on the crossroads of Spirit and Brave.
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