Beauty from Ashes

Today I am dedicating this post to a very dear friend of mine who I will call J.J. J.J. has been experiencing some challenges recently, much like myself, and as a result she has been spouting wonderful bits of wisdom all day long. She is making great strides to grow and become a better person with every challenge set in front of her. Therefore, I am taking it upon myself to steal some of her wisdom and share it with my fantastic readers (with her permission of course, which would mean I’m not really stealing… but I digress).

Lately J.J. and I have been talking a lot about feelings, particularly unwanted feelings. These feelings could be unwanted feelings of hatred towards a friend, feelings of love towards someone you know you can’t have, or feelings of compassion towards someone who has burned you many times in the past. Unwanted feelings are particularly infuriating since we cannot control them. Unfortunately my dear friend has been conflicted with feelings she can’t get rid of for a man who, to be perfectly honest, is not even close to being good enough for her. In protest, her mind has been telling her not to act on these feelings since it will only lead to more misery. However, as I’ve learned in the past, if your heart wants something bad enough, it’s hard as hell to get your mind to tell it otherwise. Thus the age-old battle between head and heart rears its ugly head.

Today J.J. said “as human beings we inherently desire the best for ourselves; the more the challenge, the better we feel about pursuing it and attaining it.” I feel this is especially true when we want something we know we can’t have. I have always been told the truly important things in life are those which we have to fight the hardest for. So when something we can’t have comes along, instead of giving up and moving on to find something better we push ourselves to do whatever we can to attain to unattainable. We force ourselves to suffer through heartache, all for the possibility of having everything magically come together in the end. To make it even worse, we become so excited by the challenge, we forget that we don’t even want what we are desperately attempting to obtain.

To put it simply, the more we accomplish, the better we feel. Therefore if we can successfully change the circumstances to attain what we are told we can’t have, we feel like we’re on top of the world. We feel like we’ve climbed to the top of Mt. Everest, discovered the cure for cancer, and invented a great tasting chocolate that has no calories! (I can dream, can’t I?) If we are brave enough, we will put ourselves through pain in hopes of achieving the impossible. We will risk everything hoping the risk will yield the biggest reward. But what happens after we’ve put forth all this effort and we are ultimately left empty-handed after the entire situation erupts like a volcano?

“You find beauty from ashes. All the hurt and emotions you feel; the gut-wrenching turmoil and the horrible thoughts that go through your head, can ultimately lead to peace… In order to find the good times, you have to embrace the bad with all the strength you can muster.” (thank you J.J.) I couldn’t agree more. After every horrendous storm, the sun will always shine again. You could probably stay in your storm shelter for the rest of your life and manage to survive without taking another risk. Or you could step out into the sun, embrace its warmth, and be even better prepared the next time a storm rolls around. I’m following J.J.’s example and choosing the latter.

*Thank you J.J. for providing me with inspiration and being such a wonderful and supportive friend. Thank you for being such a strong person and for never being afraid to stand up for yourself. You have been quite an inspiration.*

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