Some of the most challenging times in my life were when my boys were in their terrible two years. My oldest son had just turned one, when I found out I was pregnant with my second son. It was at that point my life was a big blur. Diapers, naps, constant standing, sitting, standing again, sitting on one butt cheek, up again and again and again! I thought to myself in the mist all the chaos and temper tantrums, why did I say I wanted kids?
I felt a little bad for wanting a different life, even though I consciously chose the one with two kids. But couldn't they have been better behaved? In the scheme of things, I was very lucky that my kids were healthy and relatively happy. Yet it is fair to say that I have a little bit of PTSD from these years.
Surprisingly, I now look back at that time of my life as a blessed experience. My boys had taught me that if I can survive the terrible two years, I can survive anything! Well, at lease that is what I tell myself when I think back knowing that we all survived and didn't kill each other.
We have all survived something. In fact our lives are filled with many events that when we look back we wipe our brow, hands on knees smiling at our defeat. Is that why so many people do marathon races? I've never gotten into the whole running thing, but I can understand the satisfaction to having survived something difficult.
When we are going through hard times in our lives, its these moments of survival that give us the strength to keep going. We have deposited years of small defeats that when brought to the bank of "yes, I can do this" we find that we have more than enough courage and strength to keep going.
Surviving something big in our lives, such as cancer, death of a loved one, or divorce fills up our banks to a level so high, we find ourselves needing to find a new bank to deposit into. In fact is it overflowing so much, that now you feel compelled to help others who may need an extra hand.
So its not surprising that people like me who have been through tragedies find it their life's mission to help others fill up their bank with strength and courage. Our gratitude is so overflowing for having survived our hardships, we have no choice but to give it back.
Its important though to look at all moments of survival as important contributors to your overall life. There will be lots of times of joy and lots of moments of pain and confusion. Yet, our banks of courage and strength will always be there. Our defeats are never forgotten and our pride in doing it will always be displayed in the center piece of our hearts.
Shine on all of you survivors. Some day, you too will want to help others see their light as well. Who would have know something so bad would lead to something so good? And who would have known that your suffering can help others see their hope too?