Today is Not a Good Day
Seven years ago today, May 23rd, I lost my first wife in a horrific car accident just blocks from our home. A little over a year later I lost my job of six years. So I know about loss.
Suffering loss is never fun. Whether it be a job, an opportunity, or someone you love, loss sucks. Believe me I know. Seven years ago today, May 23rd, I lost my first wife in a horrific car accident just blocks from our home. A little over a year later I lost my job of six years. So I know about loss. It can devastate you or make you stronger. It’s all in how you handle it.
Counting your blessings
Since that horrible nightmare of a day seven years ago a lot has happened. True, I lost a job and my grown boys went through a lot losing their Mother. She was a big influence in all of our lives and the people she touched. The whole family and the community she served missed her and felt her loss. Yet there was an upside. My boys started coming to me with their problems instead of their Mother. We became closer. I met a wonderful woman and remarried. After losing my job I embarked on a new career as a freelance designer/marketer and haven’t looked back. I live in a nice house, our cars are paid for, and my new wife and I are completely out of debt except for the house, it will be paid for in 10 years. Did I mention that we also deeply in love? So all in all I have been blessed beyond my wildest imaginations and dreams. I’ve learned to count them daily. Counting your blessings gets your mind off the bad things like loss and helps you focus on the positives in your life. Even if you aren’t religious the act itself does something deep inside that gives you strength.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?
There are many, many stories about people surviving terrible crashes, wars, accidents, and the like. Their stories inspire us as we hear of how they persevered and continued on against all odds. I’ve read and heard of these stories just as you have. They inspire me. They give me hope. Going through what I have though, I don’t necessarily feel stronger. True these events didn’t kill me. I’m still alive and kicking. I’ve known poverty, heartbreak, and a mixed bag of bad luck throughout my life. Yet, I don’t feel any stronger. I don’t feel any more prepared to face the next downturn in my life. When the next bad thing happens, I’ll step up to the plate and face it, just like I always have.
I’m not the only one that has had bad times. We all have at one point in our lives or the other. We have faced the seemingly insurmountable only to find somehow we conquered and became the victor only to face the next obstacle with the same doubts we always had.
Having the doubts is not the problem. They make us aware and on guard to what’s ahead. Doubts prepare us and help us take stock of ourselves. It’s when we let those doubts strip us of our armor against the arrows and spears of life that we become vulnerable. Having a good support system of friends and family can help in times of doubt. I know it helped me in my darkest hour and for that I’m very thankful. I’m especially thankful for my oldest son who was my rock when I needed one the most.
Being thankful is the key to surviving the worst. Doesn’t matter what it is in your life you are struggling with it’s real to you and at the moment the focus of your attention. You can defuse the negative impact of your situation by being thankful. This is the second punch in the one-two punch of counting your blessings and then being thankful for them. When I find myself slipping into the pit of pity I change my focus to being thankful for all the love that surrounds me. True, I also have a good life filled with “things” but it’s the love I am experiencing from not just my family and friends but from the Universe that sustains me and helps me out of the despair that life throws at us. It helps me get out of myself and think of the gift that others freely give me daily. By that love, I am lifted up.
I knew 33 years of love from a wonderful woman who died seven years ago today. I miss her…a lot. I couldn’t prevent her death so I honor her with the seven years that have passed since. By living them with thankfulness.
Learn more about the author, Michael Irvin.
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- coping skills
- Life events