Over the years I have noticed that around this time of year I come across a number of people who feel down or sad or sometimes even a little depressed. I spoke with a handful of people over the last few weeks who have told me that they were going through some mentally, financially and/or emotionally tough times. I figured that I think I know a little bit about tough times, so I shared a story that I thought might help. It then dawned on me that if I personally spoke with a handful of people who were going through some tough times mentally, financially and emotionally, there must be millions out there who are feeling the same way. So, I decided to share a quick story with as many people as I could by putting it in a blog post. I wont take up too much of your time. Its a very quick story.
As may of you know, I had a daughter who was born extremely ill and who passed away when she was almost 2 years old. From the time she was born, our hope was that she would get better and grow healthier and stronger and that she would soon make a full recovery. Things didn’t go quite as planned. Time went on and her condition seemed to get worse and worse. Her hospital stays were getting longer and longer. She was getting sicker and sicker and kept having seizure after seizure. She would have hospital stays of months and months at a time. Her first stay in a hospital was in a children’s hospital in Westchester County NY. Despite the fact that our daughter was hospitalized, Westchester wasn’t too bad because it was closer to where we lived and closer to where I worked at the time. Eventually my daughter got so sick that the hospital she was in Westchester County could no longer care for her. So we had to change hospitals and she was transferred to The Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in Manhattan. As a result our daily routine had to change, and every morning I had to commute from Danbury CT to Manhattan to drop my wife off at the hospital so she could be with my daughter all day, I had to commute back from the hospital in Manhattan back to Scarsdale NY for work. After work go back from Scarsdale back to Manhattan to stay with my daughter until visiting hours were over around 10 pm. Then commute from Manhattan back home to Danbury CT. We survived on maybe 4 hours a sleep a night for months at a time. We were both extremely tired, irritable and afraid of our daughter dying at any given moment. It was an extremely stressful period of time. To add insult to injury, because my wife had to stay with my daughter all day she was unable to work. The cost of all of the commuting we had to do with tolls and gas, the cost of the medicine that we suddenly had to pay for monthly out of pocket, the cost of eating and parking in Manhattan everyday etc. began to take a serious financial toll on us. Needless to say a few household bills began to pile up. So, in addition to being tired, irritable and afraid of our daughter dying at any minute, we were now faced with the threat of foreclosure of my home and repossession of my car. Things started to get really thick. A few weeks of this goes by and nothing was getting better, in fact everything was getting worse, my daughter was having seizure after seizure and getting sicker and sicker, the medicine that we had to pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket every month for wasn’t even working and the threat of losing my house and my car was looming and there was absolutely no relief in sight. The weight was getting way to heavy and I really didn’t know how much longer I would be able to hold it.
One weekend my mother and sister came up to our house just to help us out around the house and just be there for us. The tension in my house was as thick as it could get and my wife had started taking our frustrations out on each other. One night my wife and I got in to a really bad argument and my mother came and broke us up. My wife stayed in my living room and talked with my sister and my mother brought me into my bedroom and started talking to me. After just a few words I burst out crying like a baby. I told her “I can’t take this anymore”. “I’m trying to be patient, I’m trying to be positive but nothing is working”, “I hate this, I hate this”. “Nothing is going right, everything is getting worse and worse”. “Its not my fault I was born with a sick child to take care of. Now I have to worry about having a place to live”. I cried like I had never cried before in my life. My mother changed everything for me with 4 simple words. She told me that THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
She told me that life wont always be like this. Things will get easier and that things will get better. She reminded me that there is a light at the tunnel and instead of focusing on everything that is going wrong, focus on everything that is going right. Focus on your good health, focus on spending as much time with your daughter and family as you can etc. She told me to think of every other “Crisis” that I have ever had in my life when I thought life was going to end and where I was worried sick. She reminded me to think of every other “major problem” that I had when “I just couldn’t take it anymore”. As I thought back to every other “Crisis” I realized that no matter how bad it was, that I am still alive today to tell about it. No matter how bad any of my problems of the past have been, I made it through. She said I know that you are going through some extremely tough times right now, and because you are dealing with them right now, it seems like things will never get better. But things will get better, they have to. THIS TOO SHALL PASS! This phrase changed my perspective completely. It helped me to get out of the emotional and mental desert I was in. This phrase enabled me to shift my mind from focusing on my problems to focusing on solutions.
So if anyone at all out there happens to be going through some difficult times, should they be emotional, mental, financial etc. If you are having financial problems, marriage problems, if you lost a loved one, lost a job or having a hard time finding a job etc., I want to encourage you, right now as you are reading to JUST SMILE and focus and celebrate what’s going right for you in life. Focus on and celebrate your healthy happy children who are alive and able to see and laugh and play another day, celebrate your spouse, focus on and celebrate your good family and friends that are there for you and that loves and supports you, celebrate the fact that you can still see, hear, think, walk and talk etc. FOCUS ON AND CELEBRATE THE GOODNESS OF LIFE. FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS AND NOT THE PROBLEMS! There is a light at the end of your tunnel! Keep staring at the light and keep moving forward with a positive attitude. You will look up and your problems will be in your rear view mirror! It cannot rain forever! The SUN must shine at some point!
Just remember that….
IF YOU ARE GOING THROUGH SOME TOUGH TIMES, THEY HAVE NOT COME TO STAY, THEY HAVE ONLY COME TO PASS!
DEVELOP AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, AND GIVE THANKS FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU, KNOWING THAT EVERY STEP FORWARD IS A STEP TOWARD ACHIEVING SOMETHING BIGGER AND BETTER THAN YOUR CURRENT SITUATION.
IT IS NOT WHAT THEY TAKE AWAY FROM YOU THAT COUNTS. WHAT COUNTS IS WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT!
-Hubert H. Humphrey
STAY POSITIVE AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD, AND TRUST ME ON THIS ONE THE WORLD IS YOURS!
Have a HEALTHY, HAPPY, LOVE FILLED, PROSPEROUS, PRODUCTIVE, PURPOSE FILLED, POSITIVE, PEACEFUL New Year!