It is a common thought that we are destined to be happy in this life. Ask a parent what they want for their children and they will most likely answer "happy" as one of their top hopes.
As I check my facebook daily, it is always loaded with complaints. Someone is suffering the worst sore throat ever or enduring a life hardship and expressing a "why me?" sense of helplessness.
I get it. I do feel empathy when someone is struggling. However, it seems to be the same person who is posting life downers daily.
I agree, sore throats suck and life throws us curveballs. Happiness is not a constant.
And I hate to admit it because it probably does make me seem a bit callous, but I feel like typing into the response feed, "Take the focus off yourself."
Perhaps my life experience gives me this perspective. I live with a chronic disease. There is not a single day that I'm not in pain. I have daily migraines, my joints hurt, I have extreme fatigue and what is called foggy lupus brain where can't seem to process the right words to say.
Try dealing with that for a single day before you complain about your allergies for the hundreth time.
Although I could take my complaints to Facebook, twitter, and the rest of the universe, I don't.
I choose to push forward and live my life in joy instead because I know that someone, somewhere is suffering way more than I am.
I can sleep safely at night without worrying about my village being burned down to nothing.
I can walk to my kitchen to get a drink of water.
My children have full bellies throughout the day.
But, that doesn't mean that life isn't hard. Because it is.
When I was diagnosed with lupus it was a blow. When Luke was diagnosed with Asperger's at age 4 it hit us hard. When my husband, Kevin, was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic melanoma at 30, I thought life was crashing down.
For a moment.
But, I never questioned "why me?" or "why us?"
Life is not a guarentee of happiness and comfort. Suffering is part of the human experience. How you choose to respond to it, is what matters most. You can either push on or let life push you down.
When you push forward, even through extreme pain, you may not find your sought after happiness, but you will find strength.