I heard a quote the other day that intrigued me. I want to share it here with a few of my thoughts about it: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
I'm sure many people have heard that before but I never have. With recent events that have been happening in my own life and in the lives of those around me, it caught my attention. I think it's so easy to let yourself hold onto things, particularly good things, long after they're gone. You want everything to be just as it was before and letting go is oh-so-difficult! It's easy to cry about it and wish things were still that way or this hadn't happened, but if I've learned anything (the hard way) it's that no matter how much you wish it might not have happened or stubbornly refuse to let that particular thing go, the plain fact is you have to. You've got to make your peace with the situation and learn to live with the effects, no matter how difficult they may be.
I like the part about smiling because it happened. It is challenging to stay positive when you're in the midst of a hard time in your life. It's easy to get lost in your own sorrow and forget to appreciate, yes I do mean appreciate, what good may be coming from this experience. I know it's really hard to think that way, and I'm not the best at it either, but it's so beneficial if you can find a way to do that.
Last year about this time I was going through a very trying period in my life and felt I had reached the extent of my endurance, literally. I didn't know how in the world I was going to cope with the things I was trying to deal with. However, I had a moment of clarity where I recognized how humble this experience had helped me to become, and it had also helped me to see my Father in Heaven's hand in my life, guiding me to where I needed to be. Shortly thereafter I had more than one experience that showed me that A) I didn't have to deal with this alone and B) He provided a way for me to serve others and think outside myself, which was just what I needed. It ended all too soon, but at least I had that short time of serving when it was most meaningful to me. Surely that's something to smile about even though it was difficult to do so at the time.
I suppose the gist of this message is that life is not always going to work out the way we want it to or the way we think it should. When things we value (including good friends) are gone from our lives, we may need to take time to shed a few tears and then we must pick ourselves up, smile and find a way to move on, no matter how difficult it is. Most of all we must cherish this experience and what we were able to learn from it, even if it had to come the hard way.