Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heartaches And Life

Phew. I'm feeling overwhelmed tonight. We had another meeting for my mom's Anything For a Friend event, and my emotions are always a little close to the surface after those due to the sheer amount of pressure I feel. But it's good pressure, and good will come of it.

I've been reminded today that the world is full of sadness. That sometimes Heavenly Father tests us with things that everything inside of us screams SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. That young people shouldn't die. That little boys shouldn't get sick.

I've been thinking a lot about heartaches that life hands us lately. There was a period in my life where I felt pretty carefree. For about three years. Yes, there were trials. Bad things happened, and I was sad at times. But none of that really TOUCHED me. I saw it, and I felt sad, but it didn't touch me like things have lately. I thought I was free. That I had had enough trials in the first twenty or so years of my life, that maybe I would get a pass for the rest.

I've had a pretty rough year. I've had some sad things happen to me. Lucky for me I've had the support and love of great family and friends. But it's still been hard at times.

My sister in law has a hard life. She has a seven year old son with autism. He was diagnosed at 18 months. It's been a constant struggle. He is a great kid. But he has meltdowns and she HAS to be tough, physically and emotionally. She doesn't have a choice. She had a baby girl last June. The baby has Down Syndrome. She's a beautiful little girl and a blessing. But my sister in law has had to grieve all the things she will never get to do. And when she thinks of her future, she doesn't see rest from her trials. Just weight on her shoulders. The daily WORK is almost too much. That feeling sucks. It's a very hopeless feeling. And while your heart knows it will all be worth it, your head only sees the endless jobs in your future. It's so hard to see things eternally.

My little sister has had some struggles in their business they hadn't planned on. It's starting to wear on her. She also had a baby, and has had to deal quite a bit with my mom's illness. She keeps telling me this isn't where she wanted to be right now.

As I've had conversations with these two, and conversations with myself, I've thought about how heartaches affect us. I've come to a few realizations.

First, that we are never free from heartache. That the hurt will either evolve into empathy that we will feel for others in similar situations, or it will turn into a different heartache.

Second, we spend so much our time wanting to "get through" whatever we're going through. But in reality, what if it never ends and we've wasted our whole lives waiting for things to get better?

Third, that it can always be worse. I thought having a miscarriage was hard. Then my mom was diagnosed with cancer. And a miscarriage seems like an okay thing to experience in contrast to what is going on now.

I believe there are times when life will flow pretty easily. Where we will be happy and thankful for all we have been blessed with. But I believe there are also going to be times where we simply cannot go on. And in those times, we have to break and allow someone else to carry our burdens.

I also think the sooner we learn to accept our lives, suckiness and all, the sooner we learn how to be happier with what is happening RIGHT NOW. Because, let's face it, it can't be all bad right? There's still good things in the world. Like Szechuan Chicken from the Mandarin and Pace's Cokes. And my amazing children, one of which turns two tomorrow.

I've spent the last year and a half waiting for life to go back. To get through the crap and to be able to just be happy again. Then guess what happened? My mom got cancer. I think that was the first time I realized that it doesn't matter what's happened in the past - ANYTHING can happen in the future. Even if you've had it rough, it can stay rough, and it can get rougher. None of us are exempt from challenges.

But if we sit and have a pity party (which I've done a lot lately), we miss out on opportunities. Opportunities to serve others, opportunities to learn lessons and to feel empathy and love for other people.

The best thought I've had lately is that it is possible to be happy even when it sucks. We're tough. We've been given all that we need to handle it. And we're never completely alone.

Now that I've thrown up all my thoughts, I don't know how to end this post. So that's it. I'm out.