So, it’s been a rough past couple of weeks, but I am hardly the only one. As I’ve been open about my heartbreak, I’m encountering others who’ve been going through the same lately. Seems like everyone has lost family members and dear friends unexpectedly, lost jobs and spouses, or money’s been tight. We were all on what we thought was solid ground when the rug was ripped out from underneath us. What I’m also finding is that, in spite of the pain, we are all also looking for the beauty.
I know I talk a lot about finding the silver lining, but it’s entirely different when you’re looking for that lining in a storm as opposed to a single cloud. Being happy and inspired in spite of your circumstances takes on a whole new meaning when those circumstances rattled you to your core.
By the way, when I say “beauty”, I don’t necessarily mean “purpose”. The greatest scholars and philosophers of the world have no definite answer for why bad things happen to good people. So, set that fruitless search aside. I’m talking about beauty – whatever transforms tragedy into triumph. It’s the escape hatch in suffering that leads to something greater.
You hear these stories more often than you think: the divorced single parent who goes back to school; the disabled athlete who breaks world records; or, the woman who turns a cancer diagnosis into a wellness revolution.
Better yet, think about John Walsh. In 1981, his only son was abducted and murdered. The pain that he felt is unimaginable in the face of such a sudden horror. The suffering of that loss could have swallowed him whole and made him a shell of a human being. Who would have blamed him? Yet, he turned the tragedy into a mission. Walsh dedicated his life to being an advocate for crime victims. He hosts one of the longest running reality shows, America’s Most Wanted, which has helped put more than a thousand criminals behind bars. He’s raised awareness for child abduction, and in turn, has helped law enforcement reunite more than 50 children with their families. He became a champion for justice, yet none of that would have happened without the loss of his son.
That’s what finding beauty in tragedy looks like. It’s taking what was meant for evil and turning it into good.
By the way, if you’re having trouble finding the beauty in your situation, I encourage you to reach out to others. You’ll be surprised what people are dealing with when you dig deeper than a simple “How are you”. Perhaps you can look for the light in the darkness together, because I promise you, somehow, somewhere, it’s there.