We have all had experiences in our lives that feel unfair.
Someone you have loved and trusted betrays you in painful and unwarranted ways, a work associate gets the promotion you deserve, someone you care about is battling cancer, perhaps the person you love doesn’t feel the same way, or God forbid, a child dies.
As we learn early on, “life isn’t fair.” Yet, when it isn’t, we still raise our fist up to the heavens and wonder what we did to deserve this unjust treatment. Many of us still believe, that if we live a just life with integrity, good things will follow, but that isn’t always the case; and sometimes good does not triumph.
I was recently with a group of friends discussing the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” The premise of this film is that a bad relationship can be erased from the mind, so one lives as though it never happened. As we were commenting that we wish this was a real procedure, one of my friends spoke up and said, “But then we would never learn, and we would just make the same mistakes again and again, so it’s good that we can change, and then move on.” Excellent point!
Bad things happen, there is no denying this, but what makes the difference is how we CHOOSE to handle these unexpected twists and turns that life puts in our paths. Do we take the “poor me” attitude and play the victim? Cursing our luck, beating our chest and feeling deep frustration that “everything happens to me!” Or, do we look at the painful experience and ask ourselves, “what can I learn from this experience?” A friend of mine shared a mantra with me when I was going through a heart wrenching breakup, and this helped me a great deal as I navigated my way through the pain. “Only good will come from this experience.” I used to repeat this over and over as I walked through my house alone, day after day. It was my goal to be a victor, NOT a victim.
One of the best ways to turn things around from victim to victor, is to take your experience and find ways to help others heal from similar experiences. My sister is an excellent example of this. She lost her only child to a drunk driver, and she now not only runs a support group for parents who have lost children, but sits on numerous panels speaking out about the painful repercussions of drinking and driving. So here we see how someone who had a horrible situation, turned it into something that helps others heal and grow.
When we begin to place our focus on the things we HAVE, rather than those things we have lost, we shift the energy away from these traumatic events and move closer to healing. For one thing is certain, there will be good AND bad in life. But when we see ourselves as a victor rather than a victim, we shift the energy around the experience to a positive light; thereby allowing more grace, forgiveness, and joy back into our hearts.