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Tiny Wisdom: Seeing the Good in the Bad

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” -Proverb

I once read that people who journal to identify lessons from painful situations generally move on more quickly and easily than people who write merely to vent their emotions.

In discovering opportunities for growth, we empower ourselves to see whatever we’ve been through as something that can be ultimately beneficial, even if it’s tremendously uncomfortable in the short-term.

It’s not always easy to do that, particularly because there are so many things that happen that we may never understand—and plenty of events that seem downright unfair.

Why do some people retain their health despite poor choices, while others wake up seriously ill one day with no reason or warning? Why do some people enjoy great fortune without having to expel much effort, while others struggle all their lives without ever enjoying rewards or stability?

When you look at the world through this lens, it’s easy to be bitter. We want there to be order—to know that if we’re good, good things will happen, and bad things won’t. But that’s just not a guarantee.

What is a guarantee is that we can always decide how to interpret what we see.

Over the past two years, countless readers have submitted posts for this site, many of them sharing stories about overcoming sickness and loss, among other personal challenges.

There’s nothing as inspiring as seeing the world through the eyes of someone who is determined to see something good.

After a blood vessel ruptured in Brian Webb’s brain, he couldn’t walk for months—but after running his first marathon he realized his injury taught him to appreciate life.

Brandy Harris renamed her Crohn’s Disease “Crohn’s Teacher,” and uses her feelings about her symptoms as fuel for writing and sketching.

Alexandra Heather Foss decided that there’s beauty in her scars—that her past struggles contributed to the strong, wise woman she is today.

Life is always going to contain a little darkness, but we get to decide whether or not we recognize and appreciate the light.

Photo by PrescottFoland

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. She recently launched a Mindfulness Kit to help reduce our stress and increase our peace and joy. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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