Finding Beauty In The Pain: A Reflection On This Last Year

reflection of mountains in a lake
Ales Krivec

Sometimes the best gifts come in the most unexpected of packages. From pain we can often draw so much beauty, even though we are so quick to dismiss the “bad” as just that. Everything good has to come from somewhere, and there are no rules about where this place has to be. There are days when the good may be more visible than others, but don’t think for a moment that good is not always there. There is always beauty to be found even in what seems like the worst of times. Good is not always brought to us in bright light, but is often found at the end of very deep, dark places. Don’t be fooled by the lightness because storms can manifest in all types of skies.

This year has been one for the record books. The amount of ups and downs I have faced has been tremendous.

And though each time it seemed like the pain would never pass, it always did.

Whether it’s the dramatic career changes I faced or learning that I do in fact have limits on what all my body can take mentally and physically, one underlying theme has been present in each shattering moment: growth.

Change is one of my least favorite things, as I am inherently a person who thrives in and draws comfort from consistency. I enjoy waking up and generally knowing what to expect day in, day out. No surprises, just everyday, mundane life that I have grown to know how to handle.

But the problem with consistency is the static it creates in your life.

Without a bump in the road, how can you ever explore other paths and discover parts of yourself you never knew you had? If you don’t miss your train every now and then, how will you ever find that new coffee shop on a walk you’ve never taken?

Maybe you hate your job, and you are struggling to find a way out. Maybe it is a place that’s been good to you for years, but finally it’s time for you to be good to yourself. Don’t be afraid to leave a place or a person which no longer serves you. Sure, you could stick with your job for years, but there will always be that yearning in your soul that you could have done something else with your life. Maybe the anger you feel towards your job will be the driving force to propel you into something you never knew you needed. Of course no one wants to wake up and drag themselves to a place that makes them unhappy, but just imagine what would have happened if your feelings remained neutral, complacent.

Nothing. Nothing would have happened, and you would have your comfort and consistency, but you will also never have the thrill and excitement and fear of starting a new adventure. It doesn’t always work, but you will never know your own success if you don’t even try to achieve it.

I think it is time that we stop shaming ourselves for having feelings other than happiness. People are complex beings meant to feel thousands of emotions, and I wish, for once, it would just be okay for us to feel. Get mad, cry, laugh, shake, and sob, and feel everything that your heart wants you to feel and then use those feelings to move on discover what they were here to teach you.

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and that the reason is just not always immediately apparent.

Yes, you took on too many responsibilities, and you broke down, but once you broke down, you realized that for the first time in a long time you were honest with people, and you put yourself first. You are finally learning to put yourself first. Caring for others is a wonderful thing, but you cannot give every part of yourself away and leave nothing for yourself; you have to have something to live off of. There truly is beauty in every breakdown; you just have to wait for the storm to settle before you begin to look for the sun. TC mark

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