“If only I hadn’t broken up with my girlfriend, then I would be so much happier.”
“Why did they have to mess up my coffee order today, of all days?!”
“I know for certain that if I had taken that job, my life would be better than it is now.”
Have you reflected back on your life and wondered what could, or should have happened if you had made different decisions? I do, and to be honest, at times I have obsessed over this practice. I have spent hours reliving experiences in my head and trying to ascertain whether my decision was the right one, or ill-fated from the start. Most often, my findings are inconclusive.
Although I am not very old, and thus have yet to accumulate very many experiences, I have learned something important about reflection. Blessings aren’t always blessings, and curses aren’t always curses. In life we are always moving forward, bumping into each other and learning from our mistakes. If you are anything like me and frequently partake in self-reflection, you may deem a certain experience good and another bad. But I ask: do you have enough context or information to make that judgement yet? I for one have seen a few aspects of my life – that at one time I labelled a curse – turn out to be positively influential in my development as a man, student, and friend. The same thing has happened in the inverse as well.
Perhaps you agree with me, or perhaps you don’t. Either way, next time you experience something that is frustrating, tiring, traumatic, or stressful, take a moment and try to see the positive in it. If you can’t, that is okay – maybe you need more time to see how the story unfolds. Sometimes the night isn’t always darkest before the dawn; sometimes the night is lighter than we may think.