Whenever I express my grief to a particular friend, she says the same thing to me, “That’s not fair. I’m so sorry.” What does that even mean? Life isn’t fair? I’ve chewed on that statement for some time now trying to understand why it just annoys the ever-living bejeebers out of me. I think I finally understand.
The bottom line – I have an abiding faith in God. Here’s how that looks. God is not a partial God. He doesn’t play favorites. He’s not a respector of persons. He knows each of us individually. He gives us what we need when we sincerely ask. I understand that’s not the same as I get everything I ask for. I trust Him….explicitly.
In all fairness (oops can I use that phrase?), I understand how someone who lives in the US in relative comfort can say the child starving in Sudan can’t possibly be the product of a loving, fair god. Or, that a child born with some horrendous lifelong disease is a product of a fair life. Yes, difficult. Yes, sometimes sad. Yet perfect in their own sphere.
When you compare your life or any two lives, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Stop! Your life is uniquely your own! Value it!
I didn’t stumble out of bed one day and decide to be Pollyanna’s twin sister. I’ve earned my stripes. I was threatened with abortion, abandoned as a baby by my father, abused by my adopted father, raised by a mom who cared more about what the neighbors thought then how I felt, bullied, raped at 14, lost a father to cancer, barely graduated HS, suffered a nervous breakdown at 24, and most recently lost my 16-year-old daughter to suicide. There’s more but I’ll spare you. I think you get the picture. My life hasn’t been picture perfect.
See, I am a thriver. I’m not a complainer. When someone says life isn’t fair, they are having a fit. Basically, they are stomping their emotional and mental feet. God didn’t set up universal rules to respond positively to fits. Sorry. If you’re prone to throwing fits and feeling sorry for yourself by blaming God, others, or some unknown entity, life is not and will not be sweet for you until you accept the truth which is your life is perfect for you and you have everything you need when you need it. Furthermore, your life is a gift from a very attentive, loving Father in Heaven.
The elephant in the room? How? How does one go from victim to empowered? Surrender. That’s right, surrender. Give up. Give in. Hand over. Surrender. Believe that He’s real. Talk to Him. Listen. Listen. Listen. Then, take notes. That’s right, take notes. NOTICE. Write down the good things that happen no matter how small. Listen to the answers you get and ACT on them. Do they bring success? Peace? Resolve? Accept that hard things happen. It’s life. Your gift. Fighting this reality equals misery, pain, and endless suffering. It’s your choice.
I read the scriptures. I study them. I apply them in my life.
I practice gratitude. That’s right, practice. It doesn’t come naturally to see the good in every situation so I practice. I practice like my happy, peaceful life depends on it BECAUSE IT DOES!
I believe in and practice The Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I practice The Work of Byron Katie. It’s a beautiful and unique way to process life. Check it out.
I still get sad, mad, angry, hurt, frustrated, and I question my life all the time but the difference is that I expect the answer to come. I’m willing to see that I am a part of the problem and the answer. I don’t blame others and I don’t expect anyone else to solve my challenges…..although, it’s amazing how many people are great helpers! I doubt I’d feel that way if I was always comparing my life with their great lives and blaming them for my problems!
If you’re someone who thinks you’re being punished, you’re right. No, wait, don’t go quite yet. Let me finish. There are universal laws. Were it not so, life would cease because of complete and utter chaos. There are rules. Take comfort in this. Align with them. Change your behavior, your thinking until you can feel some peace and happiness. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten. For example, you can’t hate and love at the exact same moment. That’s a fairly simple law. Learn to forgive. Another example, practicing charity brings joy. That’s a fairly complex law. Learn to serve.
Life is so incredibly fair. It can’t be any other way. It’s perfect. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Own it. Be open to it. Make friends with it.