There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.Washington irving
This is a deeply personal blog, but I won’t be able to write anything else until I let this one out. My one-month-old niece, little Maggie, suddenly stopped breathing and passed last weekend due to a previously unknown medical condition. I was at the beach taking sunset pictures when I received the phone call. After loudly letting out a few expletives (it was that kind of news) I have been reflecting on what we can possibly learn from this…
It isn’t right or fair.
Maggie was a beautiful, strong baby that should have been able to live a long, full life. I was looking forward to getting to know her and spoil her. My little brother and his wife should be cuddling with their little one right now and not grieving her loss. This past Saturday we shouldn’t have had to bury the tiniest coffin I have ever seen.
However, we can choose to focus on all the terrible things or we can try to find the good.
Perhaps you are going through something similar where it is hard to find the good. So to help, here are a few tips I found about how to find the good in any bad situation.
How to Find the Good in a Bad Situation
- Stay Present – Look around you right now. Are you safe? Do you feel somewhat comfortable? Did you eat today? Do you have friends or family you can call on for support? Feeling pain and grieving loss is important, but causing yourself unnecessary torture is not. Focusing on the present is one way to find the good.
- Make a Good Things List – What do you have in your life that is positive? For example, I am incredibly grateful to live near a beautiful beach, have a wonderful family, to have the sweetest dog in the world, and I am grateful it is warming up here and the sun is out. It is difficult to feel negative when you are focusing on the positives. What are you grateful for?
- Accept the Situation – When we try to fight what is happening or think about how unfair or wrong it is, it is much harder to find peace. Acceptance is key. Sometimes bad things happen to good people or people who haven’t had a chance to even be a good person yet (like a baby) and there is no way around it. The faster we figure out a way to accept the situation, the better off we’ll be.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up – Maybe the bad situation is your fault; maybe it isn’t. Either way, it will not help anyone if you beat yourself up about it. If it is your fault, apologize, make things right if you can, and forgive yourself. We all screw up and do things we regret later. Beating yourself up does not solve anything.
- Figure Out What You Can Learn – Every bad situation has a lesson we can learn. Facing the death of a loved one demonstrates just how short life is. It’s important to embrace today, take chances, tell people you love them, and live each day to the fullest. What other lessons can you learn from your situation?
Bad Situations Suck
At the end of the day, bad situations suck. I think it is important to acknowledge that first. Then let’s try to find ways to get over it. Personally, I like to put on sad music, drink a glass of wine, be alone, and ruminate on the negative for a little while. However, at some point, we can’t let a bad situation ruin our life. It is important to find ways to keep moving.
If you lost someone, honor and grieve them. Grieve for the next twenty-plus years if you need to. However, we can’t let our grief destroy our life. I am not Maggie’s mom so I will not begin to try to figure out how her parents feel or what stage of grief they are in. However, when we are ready, it is important to do our best to continue to live in spite of our grief.
Life is short.
We are not promised tomorrow. Let’s choose to try to find the good, live life to the fullest, take risks, and do our best to continue to help others.
When you’re focused on other people and how you can serve and help them, it is difficult to focus on your bad situation, too. Helping others is my go-to in times of pain.
I hope this list helps you find the good in whatever situation you might be dealing with. Please drop a comment if you have any tips that I missed.
Finally, I greatly appreciate all the friends, family, and strangers who have reached out to offer their condolences. It means a lot.