How do you know what you like? You compare it to what you don’t like.

How do you know when something is amazing? Because you know the opposite, i.e. not amazing, or in some cases dreadful!

We need contrast in our lives, otherwise there’s nothing going on. Consider this…we can’t know ‘good’ if we haven’t known ‘bad’; they’re opposites. Good doesn’t exist on it’s own. There’s nothing to learn or grow from if everything is always rosy. We are not defined by how good or bad things are in our lives, but by how we react to them and learn from them. Life is about expansion and growth, so we need things to learn and grow from. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

Ever noticed how some people seem to have great lives? Do you think they don’t have any challenges to deal with? Get out of town, of course they do! They just deal with them in a way that allows them to move through life more freely and easily, learning from challenges as they go. The opposite is called struggling and fighting against challenges, being victimised by ‘bad’ things happening and letting these external things and your internal response to them define you as a person. Everyone has challenges, everyone. It’s about how you react to them.

I have never met a single person that has not experienced the contrast of good and bad in their life. No one. You needn’t bother trying the ”what about a new baby” angle with me, like they don’t know the contrast of bad and good yet! I already thought of that one…

Picture it…you were just pushed out of your happy little watering hole and dumped in the middle of a brightly lit room with lots of faces staring at you and you have no idea what is going on. It was good inside, contrast this to now being outside, and outside seems very bad. Then you meet Mum! Good! Then the nurse grabs you away and cuts your umbilical cord. Bad! Then you get swaddled up nice and warm and cosy! Good! And so it goes on. No one’s life, NO ONE’S, is perfect and challenge-less every second of every day. That doesn’t mean life isn’t AMAZING! It’s just that if you expect everything to be perfect bliss every moment start to finish then you’re setting yourself up for heartache. The so called ‘bad moments’ are really treats in disguise. Here’s why…

When “bad” things happens, look at it like it’s there to teach you something. It’s going to help you. You may not be able to see it yet, but one day you will. Ask… “What does this situation/person/event have to teach me about life and/or about myself? What can I gain from this experience?”

Everything that happens to us makes us who we are, and propels us forward for the next moment and the next moment and the next moment, and on it goes. You evolve as a person from the challenges you face. This is no mistake.

In moments of utter life carnage when you wonder what the heck is going on, remember that moment because it won’t last forever, and…when things are amazing, you will treasure that crap because it gave you the chance to know ‘awesome-ness’ in its full glory! It gave you the wonderful gift of contrast!

Reflecting on my life, I can see some of the worst events have made me strong enough and resilient enough to give myself a ‘leg up’ in future. In hindsight (a wonderful thing!) some of the worst periods of my life have taught me not only how to be stronger, but also more capable, more compassionate of others, more appreciate of life, and they have taught me not to take things for granted. I wouldn’t be able to ‘be’ me now without some of the so-called ‘crap’ that might have occurred that led me to this point. You are no different. Everything good about you, and the list is endless, is a result of what has gone on before.

If you’re in the middle of crap right now, look around at the cesspool and say to these challenges in life… “thanks for whatever you are teaching me”. Laugh or cry if you must as you say this, but just say it. In saying it you are acknowledging that there is something positive to come from this, even though that ‘something’ evades you right now. Whilst you may not be able to see it yet, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe five years from now you will see it. Only in the last few years have I truly understood what I learnt from events of 10 – 20 years ago, and how pivotal they have been in creating positive flow on effects in my life.

With love, Bernadette


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