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Yes, life can be difficult, and often is. I think, however, that as a society, we have all decided that something is wrong when that happens. No, it’s not. At every stage of life, things can and do “go wrong”, or at least do not go according to our “plan” or expectations.

When we are six years old, our parents’ divorce can be very difficult. Yes, life can be hard for a six-year-old. Life does not discriminate based on age. The fact that other six year olds live in war torn countries and have lost their parents, and need food, does not make the six-year-old who has divorced parents feel any better about his/her situation! Difficult is difficult. Hard is hard. We are all called upon to bear up and make the best of what is.

Marriage and relationships are hard!

Yes, they are also wonderful, at times. But mostly they are difficult. We need to realize that. Nothing is “wrong” when we are at cross-purposes with the ones we love. Life calls us to rise to the occasion. We don’t have to like it. We just have to do it. And when we do, we change, and our circumstances seem less bad. (Maybe not good, exactly, but less bad.)

There are actually people who have murdered their spouses and children because they just couldn’t do it anymore – couldn’t deal with the constant pressure that both of those things exert. Who knows? Maybe they find prison a welcome relief from family life. But, I sort of doubt it. Nevertheless, I am trying to make the point that at times it is excruciatingly difficult. That’s ok. Nothing is wrong with you when you find yourself in that situation. It means you’re human.

There is a way out, and it isn’t murder. But we have to stop our fleeing behaviors and put our minds and wills to work. Drinking to excess and having affairs is not going to help us. Yes, sometimes we need to “escape” for a while. Reading an engrossing novel is a great way to do that. There are lots of heart wrenching things that happen in life. I am not telling you to “get over it”. No, our pain is here for a reason. I am telling you that you are not alone, and that you can get through it.

Sometimes having one person understand allows us to grieve and heal and become able to cope and even sometimes rise above and thrive and yes — to find joy.

We all want to find joy, and I believe we are meant to live with joy. Often, though, joy comes in scary packages that we are afraid to open. One of the reasons I became a counselor is to help people not be afraid to open the package!

I am here for you if you need me.