There are very few among us who would volunteer for struggles and hardships in life. We may talk a good game, waving away difficulties as an expected part of life and insisting that everyone faces challenges at some time or other, but secretly we hope we will be the one exception. I know I would much prefer that life be easy, pretty and nice all the time, but I have lived long enough to have had a good share of hard, ugly and mean along the way. The irony is that although we dread the hard times, they are often the times when we experience the most profound growth and learn the most valuable lessons. That has certainly been true for me. My most difficult times have taught me more about persistence, patience, sacrifice and gratitude than I ever imagined possible (and a little more than I wanted to know!). I have also come to understand that a bonus of lessons learned the hard way is being able to share your experience with others who may be facing similar circumstances. Your story may spare others some suffering, steer them onto a better course or motivate them to keep fighting the good fight. At the very least, hearing your story lets others know that they are not alone.
Peggy Nolan is a woman who has faced—and conquered—more than a few challenges in life, including a midlife divorce and breast cancer, within two weeks of each other! This woman knows a thing or two about hanging in there through the dark times and she shares her found wisdom on her blog, in her books and on her podcast, Let Go Move Forward. I was honored to be a guest on a recent episode and we compared notes about what we have both learned from hanging tough in tough times. I hope you will give it a listen and I hope you find a word of encouragement there.
Here’s to wishing more of the “good, pretty and nice” in life to all of us!