October 8: CONTRASTS: Appreciating The Dark and The Light

We all have lived through dark periods.  The entire world has gone through dark times, and has actually named one of these times, “The Dark Ages.”

There was a period in my life where I struggled through extremely dark times for a 15-year period.  It was analogous to going to a beautiful location in a 4X4 truck or jeep, being prepared for the worse, and getting stuck.  I mean, really stuck.

Imagine having the time of your life, feeling confident, strutting around like you own the world and you have it all figured out.  Along comes a series of struggles, challenges, and difficulties, you make a few wrong turns, a few bad decisions, and BAM!!  Your big, bad 4X4 has all four tires stuck in a couple of ruts.  You go along a little farther, only to realize you are now in a position where there is no way for you to get unstuck without some help.  If you have nobody to call on for help, or if you are out of cell service, you are screwed.

Life is a lot like this, sometimes.  I grew up in a wonderful home.  I didn’t have to make many decisions on my own.  My mom was always there for me, making the decisions and telling me what to do, and I was always grateful for her help, and I chose to let her make the decisions for me, believing her experience and input was valuable.  Life was easy.  Growing up, I could depend on her strength, wisdom, and her presence.  Moving out, getting married, having children, and living a life of my own was sometimes extremely difficult.  I had not yet developed resilience, strength, character , emotional fortitude, and those necessary, decision-making muscles.

Whereas once I was confident, had no problems, difficulties, or challenges, and life was easy, things became extremely difficult.  Along came a series of struggles, challenges, and difficulties, and I made a few wrong turns.  I made a few bad decisions.  BAM!!  Just like that I was stuck.  Really stuck.  It didn’t happen right away.  I wasn’t even worried about getting stuck.  I didn’t see it coming.  It happened so slowly and methodically that I didn’t see any warning signs.  I didn’t even know what warning signs to look for.  I was inexperienced.  I had no business going where I went alone and so unprepared.  I didn’t realize how dirty I was getting or how dark it was getting.  I went along thinking all was right in the world, and all the while that darkness kept creeping in, unnoticed, undetected, undeterred.  By the time I was stuck, it was really bad.

Thank god I had cell service.  Thank god I had good, strong people to come help me and pull me out of the ruts and the mud and the darkness.  Without those people in my life, I would be dead.  Without them, my sons would no longer have a father around.

I often think of all the people in the world who literally have nobody.  How do these people make it out of their struggles and dark times?  I realized, years ago, the importance of connections and bonds in our lives, and how even just ONE can be invaluable.

Sometimes, to truly appreciate the light, we must experience the darkness.  Truly, BOTH are valuable.  Our experience of contrasts teaches us so much.

Today, I will review all the contrasts I have experienced in life, realizing ALL of these experiences were of benefit, and that ALL of it contributed to my greater good and to where I now am in my life.  I will be grateful for ALL of it.  I will create or foster connections with others.  If I don’t know how, or need ideas on how to practice social skills, I will get a written or audio copy of the book, How To Win Friends And Influence People.

Simon Sinek teaches that, TOGETHER IS BETTER.

I first came across Simon Sinek while watching the YouTube show, IMPACT THEORY.  His interview completely changed the way I view certain things, and impacted my life and my decisions that I began to make in the workplace and at home.

goodinthehead is also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.  Follow me there, as well, for daily messages, inspiration, motivation, and reminders.  Please pay it forward, and share any message which may empower someone you love or may care about.  It is through adding value to others by sharing and spreading wisdom, that we become more valuable as individuals, and collectively, as a whole, we all become wiser.

Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our realities.

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