Ok. Maybe it’s not THE best thing, but it’s a good thing to remember.
Everyone who lives on this planet is subject to unfair, unpleasant things. Some more than others, to be sure, but all of us experience some difficulties in life that aren’t really our fault.
Maybe someone hurt us, abused us, stole from us, gave us a raw deal, took an opportunity away, or maybe even a natural disaster brought loss.
There are lots of unfair things that could happen to us, and I’m sure you don’t have to think long to come up with a list from your own life, financial or otherwise.
When crappy stuff happens to us and we did nothing to bring it on, it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves.
And while I think it’s ok to be bummed about hardships and it’s ok to feel your feelings, I also think it’s not super healthy to stay there and wallow.
Instead, it’s better to remember this:
You do not get to choose what happens to you, but you DO get to choose how you respond.
Focusing on the fact that something unfair happened to you is not going to help you.
Thinking about it more and more won’t change your circumstances.
Pondering how much you didn’t deserve this and how you didn’t choose it won’t improve your life.
I find it to be much more helpful to focus on the choices that I do have.
I can choose to focus on the good (there’s always something to be grateful for!)
I can make choices that help to improve the situation.
I can ask other people for help.
I can get assistance from professionals (a financial counselor can help you with money problems, a therapist can help you deal with difficult situations in your past and present, a medical professional can help you figure out how best to deal with your broken body.)
I can choose to help other people, which has the lovely side effect of taking my eyes off of my own problems.
Even in very hard situations, there’s usually at least some small choice that you do have, and it’s both empowering and cheering to focus on that.
You’re not completely helpless! You’re not completely at the mercy of forces outside you! You can still make choices!
Remembering this helps me. And I hope it will help you too.