I read this quote today and it just stuck with me. It got me thinking. While I scrubbed counter tops and remained baffled at the incredible tantrum my two-year-old had just thrown, letting my mind stew over things I cannot control, and wondering how on earth I can mend some of the stress in my life, I was drawn back to these words.
Really, how many times do you have one of those days when you look around you and think, "is this really my life? Is this really how it's supposed to be? Is this what I am supposed to be doing? What can I do to make it different?" There are some things in our control, and so many things that just aren't. Learning to accept that is really tough.
For years after our accident it was actually painful to receive wedding invitations, attend showers, and participate in wedding festivities. It was a blaring reminder of so many dreams lost. I literally hurt, cried, and felt so cheated. I feel bad saying that. Despite the many miracles I'd seen, the countless moments of peace and comfort, the innumerable tender mercies, I still felt that I had been robbed. It was unfair, not the happy ending, or beginning, I had dreamed.
Fast forward to now. I feel genuine happiness and excitement when I receive announcements in the mail or attend nuptials. I know how those lovebirds are feeling and I am excited for them to start their lives. I also know that their happy ending isn't going to be like they had planned or wanted. Is any one's? No one plans on bad things happening, unexpected hardships, illness, addictions, the trials in life that are thrown at everyone.
I absolutely would not have imagined my life to be what it is now, seven years ago. I would never have dreamed the challenges we would face. I also wouldn't have been able to imagine the wonderful things that far outnumber the "is this really my life?" moments. It is truly vast and amazing. I still am not sure if I am at the point where I can say that I wouldn't change our situation. Some people go through incredible trials, come out on top, stronger, and easily say, "I would do it all over again, knowing what I know now". I am not sure I can say that with 100% surety. I do know that we are all here to learn the same lessons. Every one's way of learning those lessons is different. I have gained perspective and learned so much (and hopefully I will figure out how to apply those things). I know that had our specific situation not happened, something else would have. Our happy ending still wouldn't have been like we'd pictured it.
I have many nights when I wake up fretting over one thing or another. I have moments of guilt, sadness, frustration, emptiness, loneliness, and sometimes I just feel lost. I am not unique. I also have many, many moments of overwhelming joy, happiness, gratitude, excitement, love, and optimism. Our life was intended to be that way. It is an absolute truth that you really cannot truly know the sweet, without having first known the bitter. Despite the bitter in life, there is not enough time to consume all of the sweet.
I think it comes down to a matter of perspective and faith. Everyone has a right and a need to feel cheated sometimes, to feel sad, to experience the sadness for what it is. Everyone also has a beautiful opportunity to acknowledge those feelings and to move to a higher level and see the good. To see the beauty now. To see the artistic creation that is really your life, and to realize that indeed, it does have a happy, a PERFECT ending. A happy ending much, much, better than one you could have ever pictured.