Who thought this was a good idea? Oh, you did, you’ve just forgotten!

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I saw a post online recently that said something like, and I’m paraphrasing,

‘You’ve survived 100% of everything that life has thrown at you so far. You have a 100% survival rate.’

This reminded me of the famous quote from Nietzsche

‘That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.’

We’ve all experienced different challenges throughout our lives, but why is it that the live’s of some people seem to be a constant soap opera? Why do some people seem to get more than their share of what you might want to call ‘bad luck?’ Do you have friends whose lives seem to stumble from one drama to another? Or is it you whose life is a rollercoaster?

I had a friend some years ago whose life story, had it have been made into a book or film, would not have been believed.  It was incredible that so much ‘bad stuff’ could happen to one person. The drama surrounding her got so bad that I must confess at some points I wondered if I should distance myself from her – almost as though her ‘bad luck’ could be catching. I’m glad to say I didn’t and she appeared to deal with everything that came her way with strength and a degree of positivity. Just so you can get some idea of what life had thrown up for her up until the time, about 8 years ago, when she moved away from the UK and we eventually lost contact, here’s a brief overview of the bits to which I was privy.

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Colour in life isn’t always bad

My friend and her first husband found they couldn’t have children together and so they eventually adopted a baby girl. Her husband was then diagnosed with cancer and after a very distressing time, of treatments that didn’t work, he died in his 30’s just months after they had welcomed the baby into their home. The baby’s natural mother changed her mind about the adoption and my friend was forced to give her up. A serious car accident left her unable to continue with her professional career and in her early 40’s she had to retrain and to do so she had to move from her home country. Happiness then seemed to descend briefly when she married again and managed to have a son in her mid 40’s using fertility treatments. Later she became pregnant for a second time naturally but sadly miscarried this baby. By this time her marriage was on the rocks. She suspected her husband of having an affair. I won’t begin to astound you with all the methods she adopted to ascertain the veracity of her hunch, but Mi5 couldn’t have done a better job. Her husband subsequently left her and their son. She found out that she had breast cancer on the day that her father died. Can you believe it? Oh, there’s so much more, but this gives you a flavour. She would often ask me who I would like to play me in the film of her life. But her life was too incredible to ever make it into the movies and my part consisted of sitting on her sofa sipping tea, eating cake and marvelling at what had happened since we had last met. Not sure who would want to play that minor role.

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I managed my role very well

Despite all these trials, or maybe because of them, she was the most generous of people. If you commented favourably on anything in her house you risked being given it as a gift. She was a great cook, a welcoming hostess, a good mother and entertaining friend. So despite great adversity she grabbed life with both hands. She never used any of these terrible things as an excuse for not moving on with her life.

I’m not sure how my erstwhile friend would feel about the idea that before we are born we choose the challenges and experiences we want to have in our next life to progress our spiritual development. All I can think is that she must have put her hand up for everything that was going. What a very brave soul. Of course as soon as we are born we forget what we have signed up for and often during our lives we might wonder how we are going to survive the onslaught.

Nietzsche’s quote must have been written for my friend and maybe you too. I really hope that in many decades time when she gets to choose again she gives herself an easier time for her next life. I think she deserves it, but what do I know?

So, when you look at your friends, whose lives seem to proceed  smoothly and without drama, while you are spinning innumerable plates, just remember that they may be having a rest this time round! It could be they deserve it. I remember many years ago asking a woman I met if she had any children. She told me she didn’t and in fact she had no intention of having any. I must have looked a bit surprised at her forcefully expressed certainty, so she smiled and said, ‘Last life I had 6. I deserve a rest.’

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Learn the lesson and move on more quickly

So embrace the lessons that come your way through the joys, gifts, trials and tribulations of your life. Those were the lessons that you wanted to learn this time round, however hard they may seem. I also think that the sooner you learn the lesson the more quickly the challenges resolve themselves.

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