Injustices happen all the time. We see it on the news. We hear about it in the lunch room at work. We really like to talk about bad things that happen to others. We more seldom talk about the good things that happen.
When we hear about an injustice being done, we might comment “That’s awful! How could they do that.” But really, we’re just thinking, “I’m glad that didn’t happen to me.”
It’s not until an injustice happens to ourselves that we fully understand.
At first, you’re paralyzed. You cannot take it all in at once. It’s debilitating. After a while, you just want to scream until someone understands that this is not right. This is not fair. But that rarely helps.
Have you ever found yourself in that situation? That overwhelming feeling that a huge injustice has been done but no one seems to care? The world just keeps going. People continue with their lives, while you’re standing there trying to make sense of it all. But there is no sense to make. None whatsoever. Bad things happen. Unfair things happen. It’s how you react to them that will decide the outcome.
Your best friend could let you down. You could be diagnosed with a serious disease. Your child could be bullied at school. All of these things could happen.
When bad things happen, we tend to exclaim that it’s not fair. Why did I get diagnosed with cancer? Why did I crash the car on my way to work? We want to find someone that’s guilty of what happened. Someone to blame.
But most of the time, there is no one to blame for this kind of events. And even if there were, it doesn’t really help to put the blame somewhere. The damage is already done to you. The bad thing has already happened. Trying to pin the blame won’t undo the damage. Depending on the circumstances, you might prevent someone else from getting hurt in the same way as you. But your damage cannot be undone.
Instead of focusing on why this happened to you or trying to find a scapegoat, try to embrace what has happened. Incorporate it into your life. Don’t shy away from it.
“What if we saw the derailment of one path as the opportunity to grow or to invent or to find another path?”
This is not easy to do. But it’s the only way that leads forward. If we keep on with the negative chatter of why this happened to me, we will stay put in that place the rest of our lives.
I’m not saying that you should just be positive and always look on the bright side of life. I’ve heard people diagnosed with cancer say that they get a lot of “If you just stay positive everything will be ok.”
When cancer doesn’t go into submission but instead spreads, cancer patients feel that people around them think that it’s because they weren’t positive enough. That it’s the patient’s own fault that the cancer is spreading because they didn’t keep up a good attitude. Didn’t have faith that cancer would subdue. That’s really putting an unfair burden on someone who’s already in a very difficult situation.
Staying positive will not cure you of cancer, but it could help you live a meaningful life while fighting the disease.
Our first instinct when something unfair happens that’s out of our control is usually that we want to run down the street and shout out the injustice to the world. We want to kick and scream like little children do until someone corrects the bad thing that’s happened.
After a while, though, we realize that the world doesn’t really care about what happened. Time didn’t stop. The sun didn’t stop shining. You still have to get up in the morning, get the kids ready for school and go to work.
You’re amazed how everyone else is missing that the world is utterly changed. But it’s only your world that has changed, not theirs. Your changed reality only affects you and the people closest to you.
Other people that you think are carefree, most of them have their own struggles that you know nothing about. Most people don’t carry around a sign saying that “My husband cheated on me.” Or something else bad that happened.
Ok, in a sense, some people do carry around a sign. These are the people, that every time you meet them, they always complain about everything bad that is happening in their life. They always steer the conversation back to themselves and always talk about their own problems. They couldn’t care less about yours.
These are the people that we dread bumping into at the supermarket. We take detours to not run into them, cause they’re so draining. They keep nagging about their own problems until there’s no easy way to say that you’ve really got to get going. So you usually leave them with a feeling of once again not being heard, but there’s is no way to please these people. They will always feel as if no one understands them.
Don’t become that person that everyone is trying to avoid. It’ll leave you lonely and bitter.
Instead, become that person that people want to be around. Try to not let fear grab a hold of you when bad things happen. Notice the fear, but don’t let it become you. Because if you do, the game is over, you’ll have lost even before the race begun.
“Happiness, for most of us, is a choice. Reality is not. It seems, though, that choosing to be happy ends up changing the reality that we keep track of.”
Try to approach life singing and dancing instead of kicking and screaming. It’s not easy, but it’s the only way forward.