So I was thinking about a plethora of things. Where do I even begin?!
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..." - A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
The last year or two of my life has been a perfect example of this quote. As a matter of fact, this has been the case in my life on more than one occasion. What's different this time around is my perspective and the way I'm handling the hand that life has dealt me. In times past, I would dwell on the worst. The bad would be magnified to the point of outweighing the good, regardless of how great the good was or how often good was present. I would allow the negatives in life to overshadow everything positive.
We're only 28 days into the new year and I already have had my share of really good and really bad experiences. The difference now, and what has been for at least the last year, is that I'm intentionally living my life with an attitude of gratitude, while also pondering the lessons I should be learning amidst any adversity. I'm thankful for everything that goes right, while also looking for the bright side in the things that go wrong. I'm believing that everything happens for a reason and that ALL things are working together for my good. I'm asking God what He is trying to show me and teach me. I'm even having conversations with myself to determine what I can do differently, what I can do better, what I can do more, what I can do less, what I can eliminate, and what I can add. I'm also understanding more and actually accepting that what I go through isn't just for me. My joy and good fortune should be shared with others as well as trials that are overcome and are testaments of faith, God's grace, hard work, perserverance, and consistency, so that people can relate, realize they aren't alone, and muster the strength to push through. It's awesome when good things happen without much effort, but some of the most beautiful things in nature occur after a storm or after extreme pressure has been applied. In life, going through the worst of times isn't easy, but in the end it's always worth it.