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Live, and let die…

Sometimes, our setbacks in life can feel as if our world is coming to an end.

In many ways, it does spell the end of a lifetime for us because we reach points where everything that we know to be true comes under question.

Major life events like health issues that compromise our quality of life, divorce, death, or even losing a job all carry with it an impact that could easily derail all our hopes and dreams for the future.

Choosing to hold on to the hurt, or the pain, or the sense of loss from such experiences doesn’t change the reality that it brought with it.

Instead, holding on denies us the opportunity to grow from such experiences, and to continue to build that life that we set out to achieve.

But what is there to learn from bad experiences?

More than the lessons that it taught us about the shortcomings in decisions that we may have made, it is only in the presence of pain that the depth of joy can be appreciated.

It is only through loss that we learn to appreciate what can be lost when we have it.

When we experience loss or tragedy, or even disappointment and betrayal at the hands of others where we have no control over the outcomes despite our best efforts, we must recognise that it is a moment of grounding that will reshape what we take from life from that moment forward.

If we’re not aware of the good that we can take, we will remain invested in the bitterness of the experience as we convince ourselves that remembering is the only way to protect ourselves from feeling such pain ever again.

No. Remembering beyond the lesson learnt doesn’t protect us from such pain in future, it simply holds on to the pain of the past and denies us a future without it.

Embrace the good, learn from the bad, and appreciate the present.

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Zaid Ismail

Author, life coach, and mental health activist. We need to change the narrative from disorders, illnesses, and survival to accountability, understanding, and thriving.

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