Finding Positivity in Life-Changing Events

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Life-changing events can happen in an instant.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much kale you eat, or yoga you do, or happiness you radiate… things happen. Sometimes that means losing someone, sometimes that means an unwelcome diagnosis, sometimes it means something else. Sometimes these events make a lot of sense; sometimes, it doesn’t make any sense at all. Either way, there’s nothing we can do to stop it, and it’s hard. And to be frank, it can be awful.

There is one thing we can do about it though: we can love our lives while we’re here now.

Recently someone I know passed away. It wasn’t someone I knew well, but it was still a shock. She was healthy, she was relatively young, and had two young kids. She didn’t smoke or drink, and I would bet she hardly even went out without sunscreen. Cancer is a helluva thing though, and sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. I think that’s why this made me so upset. It feels so unfair. That or because she had a wonderful family.

On top of that, I think I speak for all of us when I say I’m permanently sore from the most waves of mass shootings that we never seem to be able to stop, and the other woes life seems to throw our way. As someone who is here to lift up the good in the world, I’m not immune to the fact that sometimes life is hard. I notice it just as much as everyone else. 

But I like to try and stay positive. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s tough. So what’s a positive spin on all of this? 

Use this as a friendly reminder of how important it is to enjoy life and to love the people around me. Everything could all be gone in an instant. Do you want to have a life spent worrying and fretting, or a life spent making a difference and loving those you care most about? It’s like the old quote from Elbert Hubbard, “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

I’m here today to encourage you to love the people around you. Give your spouse an extra-long kiss, send your friend who you haven’t talked to in weeks a text, and maybe even play hooky to take your kids out on a date day. I don’t mean to encourage you to not try hard in life; I intend to encourage you to smile and love your life and the people in it. To make a difference with your time and help others. You are so blessed. You have people you love and people who love you. Take advantage of it. Enjoy it.

Find value in what you do. Even the most mundane jobs have value. When you see what’s meaningful to you and what’s meaningful to the people around you, it will bring more joy to what you do. Appreciate the people around you. Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate a toddler whose outbursts make you late to work and make you leave work early. But man, how lucky am I to be raising such a strong little human? Life gives us what we can handle, so apparently, this is just a test in time for both of us. Do you have people in your life like that?

What are the little things that bring you joy? Do you get joy out of the simple things like the smell of coffee in the morning, or proud feeling when your email inbox is all caught up? Or do you get joy out of the big things like a vacation with your family? Enjoy the things that put a smile on your face.

Above all else, if you really need to lift yourself up, lift someone else up. Extend love. Make a donation or volunteer somewhere. Do some random acts of kindness or call a friend. Creating kindness and good goes farther than you could ever imagine. It makes you happier, and it makes others happier.

There’s a lot in life we can’t control. What we can control, though, is how we feel about this life. I’m continuing to try and gain an understanding of the things I can’t control and doing my best to live my best life with the parts I can control. My heart is with everyone who is experiencing loss at this time. There’s nothing you can ever say to make it better, but I’m sending love your way. And I’m encouraging all of us to love and appreciate the people in our lives because life-changing events can happen in an instant.

Keep putting more good in the world Do-Gooders.