It’s safe to assume that 2020 has been a hard year for most of us. Regardless of whether or not we’ve lost a job and had to move back in with parents or are anxious about future uncertainties, many of us are all dealing with unexpected changes and stress. Yet, hope and goodness can be found in even the most difficult situations—as long as we’re disposed to find them.

It’s a matter of perspective. We can choose to view the trials of life as cause for grief and despair. On the other hand, we can choose to see them as opportunities to refine and strengthen our character.

We can choose to see [the trials of life] as opportunities to refine and strengthen our character.

For instance, I know a beautiful woman who married later in life and was unable to have children. Though this remains a source of sorrow for her, she has never been bitter about it. Instead, she uses her time and talents to serve her community and to love the people around her. She has been a true mother to me (and, I suspect, to countless others as well), but this may have never been the case if life had gone according to plan. 

Life can be hard and good at the same time. Strength and suffering, peace and grief, can walk hand-in-hand. There are, without exception, silver linings to all the trials we face. Whether or not we choose to recognize them is our choice. 

Life can be hard and good at the same time.

You see, it’s OK, natural even, for us to wish things were different when confronted with difficult situations, but we’re not meant to remain in that place. This doesn’t mean we have to force a smile and pretend all is well, but if we want to experience growth, then we have to seize the opportunities for that growth. 

For some, this might be as simple as remembering former trials and being reminded of past resilience or re-exploring and sharing your unique gifts and talents. For others, maintaining a positive outlook might require imagining what a better future could look like and outlining concrete steps to realize it.

Whatever you choose to do, though, you must realize that dark times are not the end. They are simply a passage to a life perhaps even better than we could have dreamed of. 

What has been your outlook on 2020 so far? How do you find hope amidst challenges? 

Illustration via @madebya_shop

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