This thing called life

is a wondrous thing.
We rise each morning with a blank page (day) spread before us to do with as we wish.
How we choose to react to the circumstances of the day is entirely within our own hands. How we spend our time is once again wholly ours to decide.
Life is what we choose to make of it. It sounds so easy doesn’t it?
Yet so many of us are wandering along this daily path and not knowing what the hell we are doing or where we are going.
(A bit like this post really. I’m not entirely sure where it is going either).
I have reached a point in my life where I have decided that what happens to me (apart from things out of my control) is for me to manage.
I can choose to see the silver lining in the storm clouds or I can choose to see only the grey sky.
I can choose to be consumed with any negative feeling that abounds or I can choose to acknowledge that feeling before moving on from it.

Life is full of disappointments and people who let us down.
It is full of anger, resentment and cruelty.
For every wonderful thing in the world, I can find something equally abhorrent.
In each situation that I face in this life, I am the only person who can choose how this will affect me.
No person journeys through this thing called life and emerges at the other end entirely unscathed. We each endure wounds that eventually turn to scars.
It is my choice to look at those scars and say “Yes. That happened. It hurt (and sometimes it still does) but that scar reminds me of what I have endured.”

I am not special.
Although I have suffered much in life, there are others who have suffered more.
For every suffering there are equal measures of joy.
I have learned that in life there is much that hurts but I have also learned that in suffering there is learning.
In enduring pain, there is strength.
I can choose to see the world as a dark and hateful place or I can choose to believe that each day that dawns brings more opportunities for seeing the beauty that co-exists with the darkness.
For life is a beautiful thing and we are blessed to have been given fellow journeymen to share it with us.
Dolly Parton famously said that “you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain” and (although I am not sure who originally said it), P.T. Barnum also said that “every cloud has a silver lining”.
I choose to look at the things in my life that have caused me pain and find the good that also came from the same situation. It is a lesson I am trying hard to teach my children.

I have a magnet on my fridge that says “Life is a journey, not a destination”.
It is a journey filled with valleys of despair and equally high mountain tops that bask in sunlight and give an amazing view of the beauty around us.
Scattered amongst the flowers in the fields you can generally find a few thistles. When you encounter those thistles, they sting.
Yet even thistles have beauty.
Using the example of the thistle, I choose to believe that from every bad experience something worthy of gratitude exists.

It’s a funny thing this journey called life……
Yes, it’s a funny thing.

21 thoughts on “This thing called life

  1. Absolutely beautiful words Sue, I know you have had your heartbreaks and I am always encouraged by your ability to rise above, to heal and go on. I love this: “It is my choice to look at those scars and say β€œYes. That happened. It hurt (and sometimes it still does) but that scar reminds me of what I have endured.” This is something that I think I will try to remember when I am hurting and feeling helpless, thank you. I so love the picture, I have always loved thistles, the beauty and the sharp thorns, the contrast, even more prickly than a rose.


    1. When I thought of the thistle analogy I knew I had a photo somewhere that I had taken. It took me a while as I thought I had only taken it last year but found it in my folder for three years ago. Where does the time go?
      I guess that’s just like healing from hurts. It seems like it was only yesterday but sometimes it may have been years ago. It’s funny how long we sometimes hold on to things.


  2. Love this. Would like to reblog.
    Being a Scot, I’m rather partial to the thistle, our national emblem, though it be rather prickly. It’s also a thing of beauty. How nice to run into a few of them right here, along with such good words πŸ™‚


  3. Well said Sue. It truy is amazing the choice that we have been given. And there is always, always a positive side , no matter how bad things get. And we can choose to pursue that or we can wallow in the negativity – it’s up to us. The thistle is a good choice as an analogy.

    As an aside Sue, i did a guest post over at Cordelia’s Mom (I don’t have my own blog yet) and I would be honored if you had the time to drop by for a read It pulls back the cover on choice somewhat. Thank You.


  4. Well, since my blog post about Goolman included my fond feelings towards thistles you will know how I appreciate your analogy. I was just saying to my daughter that I can’t think of any encounter I’ve had with a person, no matter how painful it was, that I didn’t benefit from it in some way. Of course we don’t often see it immediately until years later when with hindsight we understand how the threads of these interactions have contributed to the design/fabric of our life. Lovely post. πŸ™‚


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