Learning From a Tragedy

While I normally try to keep my more recent posts light hearted and funny, I’ve learned that life is not always cooperative with this notion. Sometimes life is heavy. Sometimes it smacks you in the face and kicks your legs out from under you. No matter how you live your life, it will still find a way to knock you off your feet. As my family faces yet another tragedy, and our inner strength is put through another test, I can’t help but wonder how I’m supposed to stay positive during this. While my family has always been the type to use humor to cope, underneath the tense laughter there is an unmistakable air of heaviness and sorrow. Needless to say, this past week has been an emotional rollercoaster. My theme for 2016 has been about inner strength and bravery, and it seems that life has taken this as a personal challenge. While I have been struggling to remain positive through all of this, I can’t help but look back on my past week and see what I have learned.

  1. People reveal their true colors during a tragedy. Some people’s aren’t as pretty as you thought. The people you thought would be there for you just simply aren’t. Others have some of the brightest you will ever see. You will find that some people are much kinder than you ever thought possible. Some colors will change. People will realize things about themselves and may even discover strength or kindness they never thought they had in them. Sadly, some are uglier than you could ever imagine. Some people will be crueler than you ever thought humanly possible. This is a sad fact that I have discovered exists very close to home, but do not let these people dull your own colors.
  1. No matter how good of a person you are, the world will still find ways to torture you, even when you don’t deserve it. It always seems that those with the biggest hearts and kindest spirits are the ones left suffering the most. This can cause a lot of internal struggle, something I’ve been struggling with. What I’ve concluded: Don’t let this keep you from being a good person. The world will always be there to knock you down no matter how you live your life, so I personally would rather live it kindly. There are many times in my life where I have regretted being rude, disrespectful, insensitive, and just plain mean. However, I have never regretted being kind. Yes, I have been taken advantaged of. Yes, I have been taken for granted. And yes, I have put my trust in the wrong people and given others more chances than they deserve. But I have never looked back and regretted being nice, helpful, or kind. Always be nice to others, you never know when you are the only one to show them kindness.
  1. People will talk about things they don’t understand or know the whole story to. This can hurt. A lot. But don’t let those people make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. It isn’t your job to tell everyone your story unless you are ready to. It is also not other’s people’s place to share your struggle with others without your consent, nor is it their place to fill in the spaces of your story with their own version of the truth. There are times when it is simply best to keep your mouth shut.
  1. People will get angry with you. Never feel bad for taking your time to deal with your struggles. If the people in your life can’t accept that you need to go through your own personal process in your own personal way, you don’t need those people in your life. They will only bring you more pain and frustration later. Everyone processes and feels things differently. We all need to understand that no two people have the same heart or the same mind.
  1. Tragic times can bring out the best in people. This has been especially prominent in my relatives and family friends. It is amazing how many people you discover have hearts of gold. I have seen so much inner beauty show through in people this past week. It amazes me how many people are willing to step up and offer their help in any way they can. Whether this be bringing food, offering a place to stay, or even a simple “You are in my thoughts” or “I hope the best for you and your family,” it can go a long way when times are tough. I wish people could be this kind to each other all the time: the world would be a much more beautiful place.
  1. Unfortunately, tragic times can also bring out the worst in people. There have been people that have been so cruel, that I can’t figure how they sleep well at night. As if life isn’t hard enough, there are people that make it worse. I will never understand how people can be so unbelievably cruel to others in this world. It is a sad fact that people will kick you when you are down. All you can do in these situations is hope that the kind people in the world outnumber the cruel people. Use these people as a lesson: do not become the people who hurt you. Instead, become the people who helped you as well as the people you needed when you were struggling.

I realize that I didn’t give many details on what my family is facing. That is because the point of this post is not to gain sympathy or pity. It is not to get people to feel sorry for me. The purpose of this is to show how much light tragedy can shed on different aspects of life. It is to reinforce how important kindness is, because we live in a world that is so overshadowed with hate, it is easy to get caught up in it. Life can be brutal, but that doesn’t mean we have to be. I know it is a cliché, but be good to those who mean something to you. You never know when the last time you see their face will be. You never know when it will be the last time you see them, the last thing you say to them, or the last text message you send them. Take it from me, I went through it seven years ago and I am going through it again. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. You will never look back and regret all the times you told them you loved them, but you will regret all the times you didn’t. Stay positive, stay strong, and stay kind.

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