Have you ever read a book and a sentence leaped off the page into your heart? One of my favorite lines is “People live through such pain only once. Pain comes again—but it finds a tougher surface” from Song of the Lark by Willa Cather. What powerful words to take along in my Third Act of Life as I lay down a new coating on my resilience quota with each loss, painful experience or surprise disaster.
When I suffered such pain as a younger person, I felt the disaster was never going to end and if I didn’t find an instant solution, then life was over as I knew it. Letting life just workout wasn’t an option. As I look back, I realize each experience gave me more gritty strength for the next time, building patience and knowing everything will resolve at some point.
One of my closest friend’s initial default reactions is always, “And the good news is.” For over a decade I have heard her say these words, no matter what was happening. I always felt slightly irritated that we couldn’t delve into the disaster, moaning and groaning, sharing a “life isn’t fair” moment. My friend always turned away from the “negative” path with, “And the good news is,” which pretty much stopped me in my tracks and helped me rewind to a more positive place.
When we move past pain, survive it and not die from it, we slowly create a thicker, more solid interior surface and a new way to react to hard times. I always have a choice when the next crisis strikes. I can either “feed and water” the problem, causing negative energy to blossom and take root or first seek out the “good news.” By grabbing hold of my initial reaction, I can rely on my tougher surface to discover the possibilities and solutions of each challenge.