“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb
While I was a going through what I considered the worst divorce in history, I remember waking up every day thinking throughout the day what a horrible thing divorce was. I wondered how other people had gone through it and come out with their sanity, and not marred with cynicism about love and life.
For a year, all I saw was the negative in everything, including my ex-husband, my life circumstances, and most of all myself.
My husband was fighting for me to pay him alimony, I was supporting three kids on one income, my mother had sided with ex-husband, and I found out my best friend was a heroin addict. I had bills upon bills to pay, was struggling to make ends meet, and it seemed like every check I wrote bounced.
I could not wrap my mind around why all of this was happening at one time, and I felt like giving up on most days because there was no good in the world.
Depression came and wrapped me up, and I could not break free from seeing the worst in every situation and imagining that more of the worst would happen.
Then one day I realized that, as miserable as I was and as much as I wanted my situation to change, it was not going to, at least not in the moment I wanted it to.
I realized that there was only one thing I could change, and that was my perspective and how I looked at everything.
I decided that I could look at my life in one of two ways: either I was destined to be punished eternally and live a miserable life full of pain, hurt, and guilt; or I was going through all of this because the Universe knew I was strong enough to bear it and I would come out stronger, better, and happier than if I did not go through it.
I choose the latter.
When I decided to change my perspective, I felt comforted to know that all that I was going through had a purpose, even if I did not understand it. I found a peace in knowing that I could change my mood in an instant by changing my perspective.
We all go through tough times, but how we view what we are going through is completely up to us.
Even after I realized the importance of perspective, I still had moments when I let the negative invade. When that happened, I thought of the following to shift my mind back to a place of peace.
Nothing lasts forever.
There is no emotion or situation that will last forever. Life ebbs and flows, and the good and bad in life will come and go, eternally.
This world is a dual world.
The physical world and what we see and feel is not all there is. There is a world of spirit and purpose underneath it, and no matter what it looks like on the outside, there is much more going on beneath the circumstances we perceive as negative.
If I can remember that and tap into the deeper meaning behind what I am experiencing, then I can accept what I am going through with greater ease.
We have a choice in how we view things.
Today, I look back on all that I have been through in the past year and instead of feeling angry, bitter, or consumed by it, I feel that so much has come from it.
I started a second job to help with the bills and consequently I have found my passion in teaching, something I have always had a desire to do.
I have built wonderful relationships with the friends that supported me through the tough times and I know that I can go through tough times and not break.
Somewhere along the way, I was able to find the silver lining in my rainbow, and you can too.
Take a look at your life and think of the many tough times you have endured and the many blessings that have arisen from them.
You have a chance to find the bright side to your situation, no matter how tough it seems, by only changing your view and identifying the positive of every experience. There is a lesson in the pain and there is a beautiful rose in your thorn bush.
Remember, changing your perspective is like changing the window through which you view the world. When you change how you view the world, you change how you feel about it.
Woman looking out window image via Shutterstock