inspiration #289: it will happen, it will


The text simply said "This wasn't how I pictured my life."

It was from a friend who is having a hard time in his life, with his wife, his job . . . I listened to him talk and my heart felt for him. He didn't recognize his life, he said. He pictured himself with a wife and a family and yet, he was alone. She left him. I imagined him sitting at his desk late on a Friday night because he didn't want to go home to an empty house.

He was scared. I listened and if there was one thing I wanted him to know was that after loss, things do have a way of working themselves out. The baby that was lost during a pregnancy will always be a tragic loss but someday there will someone or something else that will bring joy. Not the exact same joy, but joy nonetheless. There may be a divorce or a job separation or an period in life where you never imagined would be your life but I can tell you from experience that you get through it. When I went through the dark (dark dark dark dark) period that was the impetus for this blog, I wold never have believed that this was my life.  I didn't think I could make it. The thing is, though, that you power through.

When I went through the perfect storm of losses in 2009, I was depressed and lost and scared that this was my life forever. It felt like being in a blizzard at night, walking, bundled up, my head bowed with my face pelted by the biting cold, freezing snow. I imagined having to make an effort to pick up each boot as I tried making my way through snowdrifts. I couldn't see ahead of me in the swirling snow. It seemed never ending. I couldn't keep going. And then there he was. My husband reached out his gloved hand and together we trudged through the snow until we made it home and later in front of a fire, curled up together, with his arms around me, I knew it would be OK. I didn't know exactly how it would get better, but I knew that I was once happy and that this period wouldn't last forever. If there is just one person (even if that's just you) who believes in you, it will get better. It won't be the exact same happy, but you will be happy again.

On Friday night, I listened. I listened to my friend talk about what he hated about his life, what happened with his wife, what they would have named their kids, where they would have taken them on vacation. I listened until he had nothing left to say. It's what he needed. Just someone to listen. Then, softly I said "It's not over, buttercup. Maybe you won't stay with her, maybe you guys will find your path. Maybe you'll have kids with her or maybe you won't. What's happening right now, though, is how you get to your happy. You won't be able to get there without this part. Focus on what you do have. Focus on this moment right now. I promise you that this isn't the end. The book keeps going, you know. This is just a chapter. The bad chapter but it's still the chapter you have to get through to see what happens next."

The bad stuff that happens in your life builds character. It allows you to change and get rid of the things that no longer serve you or bring you joy. Patience, my friend. Like they say, it's all OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end. You'll get your happy back. I promise.