I have been reflecting in the past number of weeks on how blessed I feel in my life. There are many things I am still working hard to achieve, but I feel so happy for what I have accomplished so far. Sure, there are days when I feel tired and defeated and oh so sorry for myself. However, I am really working to pull my focus back to all I have that is wonderful.
My thoughts led me to reflect on how I got to this place in my life. There are the mistakes, the heartbreaks and all the “bad luck” that I have experienced. The more I thought about it the more it made me smile. This may sound absurd but it is really true at this point in my life.
I recently got a notice about my 20th (yikes) reunion for high school and heard about some people I had lost touch with. Although I did not attend the gathering it led me to think back on some of my experiences from my past.
I was treated cruelly in school by many of my peers. I experienced a lot of harassment because of my racial differences from them. My shy and insecure nature at the time left me the victim of frequent torment from many of my classmates. It was a painful time in my life, but that suffering made me stronger and prouder of who I am and where I am from.
It seems so strange that I made plans with people I thought would always be a part of my life and now I have no idea where they are. It can feel at the time like you would never be able to go on without someone. Then one day you realize how far you have come on your own. Looking back on these people it gives me the opportunity to be grateful for the part they played, however it ended.
Despite the pain many of these experiences caused me I am lucky to have gone through them. I feel I have been able to see now where it has pushed me to take risks, try new things and learn to believe in myself and what I am capable of.
When we are marinating in our despair it seems unimaginable that we will ever get through on the other side. It is so natural to have tunnel vision in these situations. I remember truly feeling I believed that there was no way out of the sadness at some points in my life. I was convinced I could only be happy if things worked out the way I imagined they needed to be. Now, I am so happy for every one of those tears and trials. I find it wonderful that I didn’t get what I thought I wanted. There are those people that I wish I could thank for having the courage to say goodbye when I couldn’t, because it was the right decision.
As the wise old saying goes time really does work magic. It helps us to gain perspective and gives us a chance to grow and heal. There are some experiences I cannot reconcile or understand but they have helped me to become more compassionate and stronger in spirit.
When it comes to my clients who are struggling with feeling they are at a point they cannot overcome I look forward to lending them some of my hope for the future. I would love to be able to help them see the happiness and peace that can be waiting beyond their pain.
Nicole Michaud is a Counselor in training in Central Connecticut. She is also the voice behind the cooking Blog MyLoveForCooking.com