If you’re in a similar age bracket to me, then you grew up with the classic movie favourite, Annie (Fun fact: Annie is the first movie I remember going to the theatre to watch!). Annie is still the quintessential example of sunshine on a rainy day, of always turning the other cheek. She has a habit of looking at her glass half full and not bemoaning what’s missing. No surprise then that one of my favourite songs from the movie is It’s a Hard Knock Life. I think we all have days where we feel defeated and wanna throw in the towel.
Is there such a thing as a perfect life?
Social media has a way of showcasing other people’s highlight reel where all we see is a perfect little square. It is easy for us to imagine that represents their perfect little life. Have you ever formed an impression of someone before you found out their story? And what you thought was a lifetime of lollipops and rainbows has been sprinkled with plenty of personal struggle and sorrow?
Because I’ve learned that we all have a story…. The parts and pieces, the steps and struggles that make you who you are today. I know people who’ve lost a child, who’ve become single parents, who’ve dealt with health issues. Maybe your story includes moving to another country, perhaps you struggle with depression. We’ve all experienced loss of one kind or another. Loss of a job, loss of a family member, loss of a dream.
The School of Hard Knocks
The School of Hard Knocks is different for each one of us. But it does exist. It will knock you down. It will test you. But I also believe that it is a necessary part of our journey through life! There are certain life lessons we cannot learn unless we experience them for ourselves.
Each one of us is far more than the hard knocks we’ve endured. But I think the ultimate question remains: who would we be today if not for yesterday’s experiences?
It doesn’t mean that we run towards conflict, embrace struggle or welcome sorrow into our lives. But it does mean that we recognize the value of each and every experience we have. If it knocks us down, we get back up.
I’ve learned from first hand experience that life is full of opposites. Would we truly know joy if we didn’t experience sorrow and pain? Would we appreciate the sunshine after the rain if we didn’t first experience the storm?
Our experiences don’t define us
It’s what we do when we’re down that speaks to who we are. Our experiences don’t define us. They refine us.
As Kelly Clarkson says, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
It makes you resilient.
It makes you resourceful.
It makes you capable.
It makes you powerful.
It makes you MORE.
It may sound cliche but Annie was right. The sun’ll come out tomorrow.
When life gets you down, what do you do to cope? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.