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What If...

I was talking tonight with someone I care about, someone who has talked herself into believing that all the really good times in her life are in the past, and that the future can only hold "leftovers" or settling for less than the best.  I challenge that line of thinking, because my life is living proof that it isn't true.  We can be at the darkest point of our lives, or in the longest period of despair, and feel too hopeless about life to ever believe it could be good again.  Sometimes we can't see beyond the immediate issues overshadowing our lives, we can't see the faint light at the end of the long tunnel, and we have forgotten that the sun rises every morning on a new day. 
 
We have no idea what tomorrow might bring, something so different than what we have imagined!  If you doubt that, think back on the last ten or twenty years of your life... has it turned out exactly as you planned and expected?  Have their been some twists and turns and surprises along the way?  Of course there have been!  In reality we can't see beyond the moment, not even around the corner of tomorrow!  I had no idea that there was a man out there like Papa Bear, and that he would want me, love me!  I had no belief that the fairytale kind of romantic love was even possible.  I had no way of knowing what God had in store for me!
 
Before, in past relationships, I settled... I settled for less than I had dreamed of, for less than what I had hoped for, and ultimately for less than what I was worth... and I got what I settled for, not good enough.  Not enough to make a loving, lasting relationship work no matter how much effort I put into it.  After those very bad experiences I gave up, thinking it was just impossible, that there were no "good enough" men, and/or that I wasn't good enough to make any relationship work.  With that mindset there was no belief that the future could be better... and certainly no belief that it could be amazing.  I would have laughed at anyone who tried to convince me otherwise.
 
The thought I want to leave you with, is that ANYTHING is possible, whether we believe it or not, weather we are even able to imagine it.  When bad things happen, when life takes a detour through dark or difficult places, when old relationships end, it doesn't mean the end of the world.  It doesn't mean that there is no possibility for life to be good again, indeed even better than it was before, even happier.  Never give up hope!
 
Even though I am sixty years old now, and have done a heap of living in the last six decades, I absolutely believe that there are still more happy days ahead in my life.  Papa Bear believes that too. Some of the best days haven't happened yet... and I'm looking forward to them!  How about you?

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This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are before and after.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!

24 comments:

  1. A very positive & hopeful post, Josie.
    Yes, even I believe that the best is yet to come.
    After the darkest night, it's bright light & day with the sun :)
    Wish sunny days for all :)

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    1. You are exactly right, Anita, the sun always rises after the darkness, we only need to keep faith that it will happen!

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  2. I believe we are only as happy as we allow ourselves to be.
    I think we have good days up until the day we are no longer present

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    1. Absolutely true, Brenda, I agree with you. If we are determined to find some happiness in our lives, it is there waiting to be found. I love storing up happy memories and I intend to do that until the day my life ends!

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  3. Like Brenda said (and my Grandfather always said), we are only as happy - or as unhappy - as we allow ourselves to be. I think that may actually have come from Abraham Lincoln. Anyway...it's very true. Attitude is everything and you can talk yourself into just about anything. If we believe things are terrible, they certainly will be. Look at our last two years - things looked pretty bleak, but we used it to propel ourselves forward into what looks now to be the best possible way for things to have turned out. It seemed pretty impossible at times, but we just kept believing that it would all work out somehow and then took steps to help the process along. Now the Hub is in a new job and I'm out of my old job and starting off on my own (finally posted that!) and things look pretty great. But if you asked me that two years ago...I would have had a hard time believing that the best was yet to come.
    And now I think I have a turn to take at our WWF game...

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    1. The recent changes in your lives have indeed become a wonderful example of hoping and believing that the best times are yet to come. It would have been easy to give up. It is always easy to give up, but we can be so overjoyed by the outcome if we will persevere and work toward our goals and dreams. I am just delighted that things are working out so well for you and your husband, I am so very excited about your career change, it sounds like the perfect direction! Now as for WWF, I think I will have my best games yet in the future, you all are certainly giving me good practice! :-))

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  4. I dont know that there is anything left to say here but uh huh... yup...

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    1. It's almost kind of a "duh" sentiment in this post, Zoe. It seems so obvious when you are on the upside of life, and sometimes so hard to believe when you are on the dark side of the moon. But I do believe that life comes around again in some way, and there are always happy times, even in the midst of great struggle. We have to learn to celebrate both the big and small!

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  5. Josie, great post about staying positive in life's adventures. I met with a client at our support organization here today who had a life that was unimaginable with ups and downs that most of us might not survive....and with several children. Even she had hopes that things could get better.

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    1. I believe that hope makes all the difference Linda. If we have it we can endure and persevere thru any hard time that befalls our life, if we lose hope we surrender to the darkness of despair and it is a place of great loneliness and desperation. We have to remember that we can't foresee the future or what wonderful twists and turns our lives are yet to take!

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  6. Keep looking forward, indeed. One of the characters in the Anne of Green Gables book talked about it by saying that anyone can get rheumatism in the body, but that when you get rheumatism in the soul, you might as well pick out your coffin. Don't ever get that rheumatism of the soul.

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    1. Amen, Mimi! That sums it up so well. I think that what makes us happy changes as we grow older, and that we appreciate the small things more than we did when young. There are so many things that bring me joy and sometimes make my days wonderful now, things I would once have overlooked. I look forward to each new day/week/month/year with Papa Bear, the times we get to share are always wonderful memories in the making!

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  7. How true this Josie. We should never look back and wish we had done better but look forward to what we can do now.

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    1. You are right, Old Egg, we get a bit wiser as we go along. We can and should look forward to the good things we can yet experience!

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  8. I'm looking forward to small good things each new day brings. :-)

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    1. I do too, Romi, I have really learned to appreciate the little things and how big their impact is on making our lives joyful!

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  9. Josie, the internal growth guarantees the "after" is better than the "before". A lovely narrative of self awareness and growth. "The best is yet to come".

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    1. That's a good point, Val, with any luck at all we do learn and grow along the way, make better choices, and send our lives in healthier, happier directions! I absolutely believe the best is yet to come, even if some of this getting older stuff isn't all that fun!

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  10. I love your outlook. I know what you mean about settling for things which didn't suit us when we were younger. I enjoy growing older for the wisdom that comes with aging. Yes, I totally agree, the best is yet to come. Wise words and great post! :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments! I agree, I am enjoying being a bit wiser about life and the choices I make than I was in those years long ago. I see now how a single choice can have such great impact on the future. It's a lesson I speak on often to younger people. Make good choices you can live with when you are old!

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  11. You most certainly are a living testament to the (I don't know the word...reality?) that dark times do not have to last forever. We can be at a low for a very long time, but we most certainly can rise out of it and find better. The thought that your friend didn't think there was anything more to look forward to makes me sad for her. I hope you convinced her otherwise, or at least planted the seed that will bring her around.

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  12. Just like my icon says: there is beauty everywhere: look for it!!
    And this is why I love sunsets/sunrises: there is this moment - the threshold if you will; where you cannot tell if it is the light that is coming - a new day, OR, is it the night and closing of the day. It's but moment, but one filled with expectation. You don't know which way it will go: but you have this sense, this lightness of being that tells you: it's gonna be something amazing. I'd like to think that is the space that Hope resides, and if we just hold on to -- maybe watch more sunsets; we'd find our happy, hopeful place.

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  13. So much hope in each new day! As I watch the sunrise I get that excited, and fresh new feeling...as I anticipate what all the Lord will bring to me. I have so much to be thankful for...so much to offer praise to Him who gives it all to me! I love your attitude! You have reminded me to never settle for the past...and to never think that all the good of yesterday will never meet it's match today, or in the future.

    As long as we live and breathe we should rejoice in each new day and praise Him with our whole hearts!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)