It has been a while since I have posted because, as my title says, life happens. My partner and I have been been sick with the flu or whatever it was since the middle of August. This weekend we are finally both feeling a lot better, thankfully. In the big picture, it is really no big deal though. Over the last few weeks I have come to realize that “life happens”. I have seen my friends and people who have joined my journey struggle with “life happens” and I am so grateful for my life. I am also grateful for those people in my life. Every single one of them is a blessing to me and has something to teach me about life. It is through our shared humanity and struggles that we come to realize how blessed we are and that we are part of a life that has so much meaning.
I got a call a few weeks ago from a friend who is struggling with various health issues. She and I have known each other for over 20 years. We met through work. She has always been there for everyone. She worked for a lawyer who never appreciated her and didn’t give her the respect or kindness she both earned and deserved. Despite his lack of humanity, she always showed up to share hers. She always showed up and went above and beyond for her employer. She also always showed up and went above and beyond for everyone in her life – her friends, her family, and casual acquaintances. Now she is struggling and I don’t know how her lawyer is reacting to her absence but I can guess. Let’s just say I don’t give him a lot of credit. However, she is still the same amazing, loving, caring person that she always was but she is struggling. And in her struggle I send her my love, my healing energy and my gratitude for her friendship and example. Hers has never been an easy life and yet she has never let that change her beautiful heart.
I have friends struggling in relationships with people who don’t appreciate what they have in front of them, searching for “something” outside themselves and missing what is right in front of them. They don’t get that what they are searching for is not going to be found in the arms of someone else, in the purchase of a new truck, quad, trailer, motorcycle, etc. It is found by dealing with your own stuff and appreciating the gifts right in front of you. In those moments of struggle and betrayal for my friends though are moments to be grateful for because in those struggles they are learning, growing, becoming more confident and more whole. No matter how things work out, they will be okay because of their attitude, their love and their decision that this will not be the end of them. Even in those moments they can choose to be grateful and grow.
I also have friends and acquaintances who are struggling with herpes. I know this struggle all too well. It’s something that happens to 25% of the population. However, 80% of those who have herpes do not know they have it. The 20% who do know generally struggle for a while trying to come to terms with what it means for their future lives and relationships. It’s one of those “life happens” things that are not always easy to wrap your head or your heart around. However, I have found in my own experience, that herpes can also be one of the best things to ever happen to someone. That may sound really odd but it’s true from my experience and the experience of many I know. Contracting herpes has allowed me to see all the parts of my life where I have been struggling. It has been the magnifying glass on everything in my life that I struggled with and through examining all that it brought forward I was able to heal many parts of myself. I found strength, self confidence and, ultimately, the love of my life because of it. I have met so many amazing people and looking back I am absolutely grateful for that “life happens” experience.
What I am learning in my 49 years on this planet is this – life happens. To all of us. We get sick, partners leave us, cheat on us or die. Health issues come up. Finances don’t always work out the way we planned. Children move out. Friends betray us. Shit happens. And in that I have seen that we have a choice. In all of it we have a choice on whether we are going to let it destroy us or whether we are going to have the attitude that life happens, we made the best of it, take the lessons and decide to be happy anyway. There are no rule books or definite answers to any of our experiences in life.
I leave you with a video of Viktor Frankl. He wrote the book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. He was a concentration camp survivor and he believed life has meaning no matter what the circumstances. I would highly recommend reading his book. Here is the interview: Viktor Frankl Interview