“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~ Maya Angelou
It’s funny how things work out. My husband and I have spent our entire adult life planning and preparing for the golden years. Our dream of retiring to enjoy the rest of our days together is inching its way closer, every day.
The destination has been in motion for the last 20 years, and as we neared the last corner, we could see the end in sight. We had a few more turns to make, but off in the distance, we saw the finish line.
We were excited. After years of being apart due to my husband’s military service, we were looking forward to endless days spent with one another to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
We were proud. We have raised four children; amazing children who are leaving their mark of kindness and love in the world that has far too much hurt.
We worked hard to turn our dreams into reality, but then life came along and interrupted.
My husband lost his job after 18 years: out of the blue and without any real reason, leaving us confused, and angry.
It took a lot of soul-searching on both our parts, to find our way again. It took close friends and family to surround us with compassion and reassurance that we would not walk alone. And it took the immeasurable strength to watch the finish line, disappear into an uncertain future.
“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.” ~ Barbara Bloom
Every life has its interruptions, events that catch us off guard and try to distract and break us.
Things happen that are out of our control. We lose jobs and people we love. We face anxiety and depression, hardships and heartaches.
Sometimes, we will question who we are, leaving us sitting blindly in the dark trying to figure out what we did wrong.
What Doesn’t Kill Us…
But the past few months, I have found that these random interruptions can be the catalyst for making us stronger. The detours we experience don’t necessarily prevent us from obtaining our dream but can help fulfill them into something more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
One of the greatest things I have learned is the power of accepting the given circumstance.
In order for us to pick ourselves up and move forward, we have to accept what is and let go of what we can’t control. It is only in acceptance that we can begin to repair our hearts and minds.
Sure, it’s hard to see it when the crisis first happens.
But if we will allow it, these interruptions can give us the opportunity to find the stronger side of ourselves and search for an alternate path in reaching our destination.
The secret is to remember that while we may be broken, we are not irreparable. We can take action and find a way to repair the cracks in our lives.
“We must let go of the life we have planned, to accept the one that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell
Accepting the circumstances we are in can help us find something better.
My husband and I are still on the path to our dreams, but we have accepted the fact that it is going to take a little longer now. And this week we begin our new route, as my husband starts a new job, with better pay, new opportunities and in the not too distant future, a new community in which to live.
Life is full of hard, beautiful, broken circumstances. How we choose to respond to it is what matters.