Life is filled with good time and bad.  People will disappoint or hurt us, parents become ill, a good friend may fade away before you are ready. All of these things, and much worse,  happen to all of us.

Life is similar to this Log Cabin quilt. The quilt contains areas of sunshine and shadow. As I look at it, I find the dark areas highlight the areas of light. Without the dark, the light would not shine and would not be as bright.  It is the same for life, our happiness would not be as bright without the shadow of sadness. Would we appreciate happiness as much, if not for sadness?  

Bad things happen in life, no doubt. It happens to all of us. We can’t control what happens, but we can control how we react to it.  When people disappoint us, we must realize that people are people, they make mistakes. Sometimes (or often!), we will be the one to disappoint someone else. 

Parents become ill and we become the parents or care-givers to our parents. It is part of life. By being a loving, caring care-giver, we set an example for others and, hopefully, for our own children. When it is our turn to need help, our children will have that good example to follow and give us loving care.

Many people come into our lives throughout a lifetime.  Some pass into our lives for a short time, yet leave a lasting memory. Others, the few and far between, become a part of our everyday selves. They’re the people we can share our entire being with. Our hopes, our fears, our everyday mundane happenings. These are the people we come to count on in good times, in bad times and the times in between. These are the best friends. Friends we hope will be in our life throughout time. No matter the physical distance, we are always close, always connected.

At least that’s what we assume. We never have a reason to believe it will be any different. But people change. Some for the better, some for the worse, and sometimes as a result, some friends can go their separate ways. It is sad to realize you’ve grown apart. It’s devastating to learn that your friend no longer wants to be a part of your life, no matter what the reason. 

When a friendship ends, we will look back on the friendship with a bittersweet sadness. It’s easy to remember the good times, and unlike many relationships, there are usually few bad times that were an early signal to the demise.

However, we should always keep in mind that people come into our life for a reason. Some are meant to stay forever. Others are here only to teach us or to  help us through something, or maybe, we were in their life to teach or to help them. Even when a friend is no longer in our life, if you were truly friends, we should value what they gave us from themselves. There are always lessons to be learned. By concentrating on what we have both given and received within the friendship, we will find it easier to deal with the loss of a friend. Just like the quilt, there are areas of light and areas of dark in the friendship. The light, or the lessons of the friendship,  can shine against the dark, or the loss of the friendship.

When times in life turn dark, I ask myself, What can I learn from this disappointment?  I find comfort and inspiration in reading quotes. These quotes by Helen Keller are helpful.

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
 
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
Helen Keller
 

This week, a dear friend forwarded me this email. It was just what I needed to hear. I’ve taped it up in my office, to read every day.

LEMONS AND SUGAR

1.  There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you, is because they want to be just like you.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. You are special and unique.

8. Someone that you don’t even know exists, loves you.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

10. When you think the wold has turned its back on you, take another look.

11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

AND always remember, when life hands you LEMONS, ask for SUGAR and call me over!

 

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