Life always deals you a blow when you least anticipate one, or if you’re really lucky, a few in a row just to test your resilience. This week has been one of those weeks for me. Interestingly though, our feelings and the experiences that fuel them are never that clear cut. If we are truly reflective, we will notice that there is always grey – joy amongst the sadness, excitement amongst the disappointment, and gratitude amongst the loneliness. It made me realise that it can be so easy, in fact too easy, to allow the darkness to cloud the light and this is especially the case when you experience things which are quite simply, unfair.
Life is Unfair
This morning, I found myself explaining the meaning of feminism to a nine-year-old, and when I explained to her the concept of unequal voting rights before the emergence of feminism, her wonderful response, full of childlike innocence was:
‘but that’s so unfair’.
With my adult brain, I wanted to challenge her but rather, it made me think about how apt this response is for so many occurrences in today’s world – the recent Florida school shooting and the innocent people that lost their lives, and those traumatised through witnessing it; the physical and mental illnesses we have to manage because that is the hand that has been dealt to us; or the everyday struggles we face through no fault of our own.
Amongst other challenges I have faced this week, I received some tests results which weren’t life-threatening but just the same, were unexpected and they really threw me. They made me realise that no matter how much we have control over in our lives, to an extent, our health often isn’t one of them. Likewise, nor are other people.
I came away from my doctor’s appointment feeling a host of things – angry, sad, frustrated and it’s taken me all week to really process and understand those feelings – so much so, I wanted to articulate them in this blog piece.
Accepting The Situation
This week, I’ve realised that happiness is… hard sometimes. We often experience things which simply aren’t fair and often enough, there is nothing we can do to change that realisation. Although we want to adopt a positive attitude, and we feel that in a world of abundance, simply claiming that things are ‘unfair’ is an easy copout. This is especially the case when you’re someone who is used to using all available resources to make things happen.
These situations feel frustrating and they can make you angry at the world. It got to a point however where I sat back and accepted that the situation was unfair. Then I asked myself two questions: what can I control here and why am I giving so much control over my internal world to external things?
I can’t change the results. As for my other experiences, I can’t change or control other people’s actions. However, I can control how much knowledge I have, and educate myself to better my situation. I can lean on the amazing people in my world to hold me. I can also think about all the amazing things that have happened to me this week which show me how much I’m flourishing and thriving.
When Peace Comes
So, as I sit here on a cold and windy Sunday afternoon, I feel at real peace with myself. Not because the situation has changed. It hasn’t. I’m not even sure if it will. However, what I do feel is proud – proud of myself for allowing myself to feel angry, and frustrated and sad but also of using my strengths to also feel empowered and be content with the fact that feelings aren’t one or the other – they’re often grey from one minute to the next, and that’s okay and if happiness is hard sometimes, it won’t always be 🙂