Life is not supposed to be easy. If it were easy, it would be your mom. (Forgive the old childhood joke, but it’s funny, right?) Decades working in mental health, I see the struggle day in and day out. And over the past ten years, I’ve had more bad days than good. So how do I stay sane? Appreciation. I appreciate it all. The good, the bad and the in between. I realized that life is just life. It’s happening. And how we respond, is going to determine the level of happiness that we have. Don’t get me wrong. There are truly tragic days in front of each one of us. But it is what we do with them, that makes the difference.
I know what you’re thinking. Vance, what do you know about hardship? Well, in the last 10 years, I’ve lost everything. All my money, my houses, and my wife became severely disabled. Chronic pain, and fights to walk every day. When we turned the corner and we started to get back into the rhythm of life again, our only daughter passed away. Trust me, I know hardship. If you ask anyone who knows me or my wife on a personal level, they would tell you that we are the most laid back, and probably generous people they know. (Some may not, you would be hard-pressed to find them.) The reason for this is, because life is life and life is happening regardless of what you think.
Life is intimate and sexy. Both hard and brash. Open your mouth and take a bite out of it. I think for the most part, it is a beautiful experience. Take a sunset for an example. A drink in your hand or a moment of meditation, it is a wonderful experience. Take that same sunset, and look at it through a different set of eyes, going through a tough day. You’re probably thinking, I am so glad this day is over. Two very different experiences. Both equally beautiful, and both serve a purpose.
I have not done a lecture in quite a while. I would often be asked to speak, because of the way I approach a topic. I would speak on an issue, and 30 minutes into it, you would realize that I am speaking about something completely different. With my very busy schedule, I don’t have time for lectures anymore. So, I turned to writing and today I write about life. There will be some messed up days in your future. There will be some great days too. Regardless of what the day brings, choose love, hope and compassion. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect to be grateful. You’ll be waiting forever. Because life is rarely perfect. And you deserve to be happy today.
So life, yeah… put your mouth on it. Take a bite and enjoy because without it, there is no journey.