So I mentioned a couple of days ago that my mother attempted suicide. That was an interesting experience; however, the thing I learned most about the entire event wasn’t how awful the situation is, but instead how these episodes of life have ultimately shaped me into the person I am today.
On some level the bad days really make you appreciate the good ones. They humble you and make you appreciative of everything you have. The good friends, a good wife, all successes, all securities, and even a great group of blog followers who are supporting you the whole way.
I’ve been thinking about my life a lot lately – especially since the incident that happened earlier this week with my mom. What a duality my life has been. I remember wrestling for the state championship in high school, being accepted into college, graduating college, getting married, landing my dream job, and a gigantic list of awesome and incredible highs in my life – wow I’m a lucky guy.
On the other hand I remember all of the completely insane things I’ve had to deal with too. I remember when I was about 9 and my parents would go out and ask for “donations” at local grocery and retail stores for our “youth group” – but pocket the money instead. I remember seeing all the drugs and alcohol. I remember my parents arguing and going to my room and praying to God that it would be better one day. I remember saying to myself when I was a kid “I wonder where I’ll be in five years” and pretending I would be in some awesome place achieving great things – that was my mental hiding spot.
Yeah – I had all of those trials, but what if I hadn’t? Would I have the drive and will to succeed and conquer adversity today? Would I be unphased by adversity like I am now? Would I be as strong or as mature? I doubt it – and THAT I am thankful for.
Who I am Today
Make no mistake. We are who we are as a result of each and every experience in our life. If you frame it appropriately even the worst experience can be an amazing opportunity for self improvement.
When I was driving home Tuesday, thinking about my Mom, a women almost ran me off the road. She was honking, obviously cussing me out. Normally, I imagine I would have became angry myself – but not that day. I took a breathe and told myself “look at what I’m going through right now. I can only imagine what’s going on in her life too.” I couldn’t get angry because I realized an ounce of understanding goes a long way.
Maybe that’s the lesson I needed. To feel a little empathy – something I have admitted in the past that I had very little of at times. I will never make an excuse for a person’s poor behavior, but at a minimum I can learn to show a little understanding. Every person’s life is effected by so many variables that it is nearly impossible for us to understand why a person is they way they are. So instead of getting angry maybe we can just learn to understand that we can’t understand – and accept it.
Before I end I just wanted to say thanks to anyone who gave their support to me the other day and those who continue to give me their support. It means a lot that a few people that you barely know out there on the internet were nice enough to share a few kind words, prayers, and thoughts. It is much appreciated.