I have been seeing a lot of people posting on my Facebook newsfeed about the hard times they are having and I know what that feels like.
Image from tryspruce.com
It was hard when I left my first husband and my two sons were only 4 and 6 and I wondered how I was going to give them the kind of life they deserved and be the mother I wanted to be to them.
It was hard when I got pregnant to my ex with baby number three. If it had been anyone else I wouldn't have kept the baby BUT how could I not want a blood brother or sister to my two other sons.
It was hard when I met my current husband ... and his four daughters, two of whom were living with him full time. Blending a family is never easy, never. No matter how much you love him and them there is always a barrier. Sure it might fade into the background from time to time but it's still there.
It was hard when my parents disowned me and didn't come to my wedding ..... or either of my eldest sons weddings.
It was hard when my mother in-law passed away... and then my brother a few weeks later followed by my fairy Godmother at the end of the same year.
The beauty of hard times is that they crack you open. They force you to stretch and grow in ways that you hadn't planned or intended. And that growing and stretching is the you that you were truly born to be.
The things is we have fallen into the belief that life is supposed to be comfortable, that we are supposed to feel comfortable and safe all the time. Guess what ? We're not supposed to be comfortable all that time - that way lies boredom and ultimately, dissatisfaction.
We need to grow, to stretch, to change, to venture forth into new territory and the only way that we do that is through upheaval, change and hard times.
Chaos often precedes new growth and nothing is more chaotic than your whole life being up ended, shaken about a bit and then plonked back in your lap. It is like the Universe is going " There you go. What can you do with this then?"
When hard times happen we have tow choices (1) to moan and whine about the disruption to our lives or (2) to accept it with open hands, a grateful heart and look for the positive in it. Often we don't see it straight away - we need to step back a bit and gain some perspective. There is always something good, if not great, that will come out of it.
In all of the situations I mentioned at the beginning I have found the nugget of gold that was buried within the chaotic mess; more love, deeper relationships or more of myself.
We all get to choose; grow or stagnate. Which are you choosing? What's holding you back from your next great leap?