Sometimes our challenges pass. Sometimes it’s hard until it’s over, and then it gets better and life goes on. Those situations have a “light at the end of the tunnel” we can look forward to. But, what about those times where there isn’t a light at the end? What about when you lose a child? When your mother passes away? When you acquire a permanent disability? Those things aren’t “passing”. The loved ones aren’t coming back. You’re not getting better. You have to face the rest of your life, learning how to deal with this turn of events. It’s not a matter of hoping it will eventually get better. It’s a matter of figuring out how to move forward without that light at the end.
How do you do it? You cannot. Not in the way you think. You will always feel something missing. You will always feel a little piece of your heart that’s just hurting, unmendable. But here’s what’s beautiful about life: though some pieces are broken, you will eventually discover that there are so many more pieces of your heart. Infinitely more. An infinite capacity to love, learn, and grow.
Life goes on, whether your challenge passes or not. But you have a choice. Within those other pieces of your heart is a light. And once you find that light, you won’t need the light at the end of the tunnel anymore; you have your own.
This light is hope that, while one challenge arises, an abundance of blessings accompany it. It’s hope that another piece of your heart will find other things to love; never to replace, no, that can’t happen. But to keep growing the love in your heart. The light is strength. Strength to keep going, to be brave in the face of your deepest fears, and to evolve as a newer and better being. The light is gratitude. It’s a recognition of the immense number of things you can say thank you for, even if one of those things is no longer with you. The light is your humanity. Your very soul. Your ability to feel. It’s being vulnerable to pain so that you can be open to joy. And both will happen.
So, while you can, find comfort in the light at the end of the tunnel. Find comfort in the saying, “This too shall pass.” But one day you’ll encounter something that won’t pass. It’s gonna be scary and it’s gonna hurt a lot. But it will force you to discover that incredible light that lives inside of you, and that’s perhaps the greatest blessing of all.
“Always remember you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
“Baby, you’re a firework.”
– Katy Perry
I promise your light is there. Shine it.