The Greater Good

Have you ever had a time in your life when it just seems so awful, that nothing worse could ever happen? You don't even look at the worst case scenarios because you're suffering so badly. You even start resenting people who are enjoying life, laughing and having a good time. It consumes you. Whether you're going through the worst breakup of your life or you have recently lost a loved one by death, the world seems like a very cruel place. It also can feel like a very lonely place, even if there are people who are there for you. "They couldn't possibly understand--they've never experienced this before--it's not the same--how dare they have a good time," runs through your mind. There will be people who will try to give you some comforting words, and it just comes off as insincere and cold -- but it's not. Some people are very uncomfortable trying to comfort someone else going through a turbulent time. They're doing their best. Forgive them. Your friends and family may not be psychologists, so you have to accept whatever condolences and comfort they're trying to extend to you.

Nobody's loss is greater than another. As I was sitting down thinking about my own loss and losing my mother to cancer two months ago, one of my girlfriends was telling me about her separation with her partner/wife of 20 years. They have two kids in their teens as well. The separation is causing her so much grief, that I believe she's going through a worse time than my own grieving process. Think about it -- when you break up with someone, it's almost like a death, except that person is always still out there. Death is different. Your loved one passes, goes to a better place and there is (usually) zero animosity or angst within the loss. There are no complicated problems like custody of children or who gets the house. Death is just a permanent goodbye, a farewell, sad nonetheless, but survivable. So next time someone says to you, "Well, at least nobody died," while you're going through a rough breakup, just blow it off. These words are meant to comfort us in strange ways. People mean well, but sometimes, words are just meaningless, even though they have good intentions.

Whatever you do, never miss out on the joy that can be right in the middle of your storm. At times, we can run into our shelters and light up some candles and ride out the storm with a cocktail or three. Don't forget to enjoy your life even if there is chaos all around you -- because let's face it -- nobody gets out of this alive anyway. All of these horrible things that happen to us are things that will make us stronger in the end. It will give us much more endurance the next time around, and there will be a next time around. Be glad you went through the trouble, because if you're still alive, you will experience more tribulations. The strength you get from these storms will even enable you to help somebody else when their storm comes. You'll know what supplies to give them because you experienced this for yourself. Sometimes, our greatest losses are blessings in disguise. God uses certain situations for the greater good.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!