By Kathy Monnin
Part of the human condition is we face struggles repeatedly throughout our lives. When we are children, we have parents to help us get past any pain, hurt or difficulty. These early years can positively or negatively affect our capacity for handling adversity. When we become teenagers, our eyes see things from our myopic perspective either seeing the world as unfair or realizing that the world doesn’t play by our rules. Nonetheless we want to handle things ourselves because we want our independence.
Throughout our lives we encounter hassles, conflict, strife, adversity, and countless struggles. We have dealt with layoffs, unemployment, and unreliable transportation, some more than others. Other common problems in life include financial and relationship problems, health or mental issues, conflict with coworkers, friends, or neighbors, social injustice, and somewhere along the way we may lose our sense of purpose, joy and/or our inner peace.
Every day no matter our age, this world provides us with countless opportunities to manage life’s struggles. By the time we reach retirement we would think we should be professional problem solvers. Perhaps that is true, but retirement is when most of us are looking to get a break from the daily grind. We would like to think we have been climbing the treacherous mountain of life all our life and at retirement we can begin coasting down the other side. But that is not the way of the world.
The best we can do is grow in the capacity to endure hardships, by acknowledging them, solving them and moving on with our life. A much wiser acquaintance once referred to my husband’s cancer diagnosis as a “bump in the road”. It helped me put things in perspective. For as long as we wish to be on the road of life, we must remain hopeful, battling life’s struggles, and becoming a better version of ourselves as a result of our effort.
No one said life was easy or fair, but it is worth it. Presently so many are in the biggest battle of their lives. As empathetic and sympathetic individuals we can lift others in our thoughts, words, and actions. Intercessory prayer is a powerful form of prayer in which we can strengthen others and come to their assistance.
As of Wednesday, the season of Lent began. Lent is a notable time to bring forth good from suffering. Suffering can be infinitely efficacious when it is united to the sacrifice of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. During the season of Lent many individuals engage in some form of penance. Penance is voluntary self-punishment in atonement for individual wrongs or transgressions and for those of the whole world. Penance may include prayer, fasting, almsgiving, abstinence, and so on. During these 40 days of Lent, we have the opportunity to, if we so desire, willfully offer our sufferings for the salvation of all the world.
Be resolute. Life will continue to challenge us, but if we remain determined we can not only endure the struggles of life, but we can successfully overcome life’s trials while simultaneously advancing in virtue. If we ever feel compelled to quit, we need to remember life is a gift with a clear disclaimer. “Here on earth, you will have tribulation (suffering and/or distress). But take courage because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We can choose a life of trials or give up on life. We see in the news accounts of assisted suicides; these are the people who gave up on life. These people lost hope, they felt only despair and emptiness. They lost their connection with others; they lacked a sense of purpose.
Goals give our life purpose and make us more inclined to battle our struggles, because we realize they are keeping us from what we desire in life. Although families can create chaos and disharmony it is the same thing that gives most of us great purpose. Anniversaries, children, weddings, grandchildren, and baptisms are joyous times in life. As Andy Dufresne said in Shawshank Redemption, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
We always have a choice. I hope you have a long list of goals, as for me I have only one, but it will keep me occupied forever and that is to attain perfection! (LOL)
“You never know how strong you are…until being strong is the only choice you have.” ~Anonymous
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted.” ~Orson F. Whitney
“You suffer because you trying to escape the difficulties and challenges.” ~Nitin Namdeo
Friday, Feb. 24, 4–6:30 p.m., Lenten Fish Fry at the Ansonia American Legion.
Friday, Feb. 24, 5–7:30 p.m., Fish Fry at Goat Farmers.
Sunday, Feb. 26, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Breakfast by the Versailles Eagles Auxiliary #2347, 104 E Main Street. All you can eat sausage, ham, scrambled eggs, hash browns, pancakes, toast, biscuits, gravy, fruit, orange juice, hot chocolate, and coffee for $9.00.
Sunday, Feb. 26, 2-6 p.m., Karaoke and an Open Kitchen at the Ansonia American Legion.
Monday, Feb. 27, 1–3:30 p.m., Memory Lane Dance at the Greenville VFW. Music by Tom Everhart. Open to the public $5 admission at the door.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 9–10:30 a.m., (Widow/Widowers) Breakfast at the Wooden Spoon, near Versailles on US Route 127.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., Versailles School presents “The Annual Evening with the Arts”. The choir performs at 6:30 p.m. and the bands perform at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 3, beginning at 5 p.m. (until gone) Fish Dinners at the Versailles Eagles #2347. Dine in or carry out.
Monday, March 13, Alice’s Dairy Bar opens from 11-2 p.m.
Happy birthday wishes to Tom Groff, Wes Subler, Tyler Subler, Joan Bergman, Danielle Kunk, Helen Gard, Michael Scott, Briana Parin, Ken Bertke, Michelle Dickey, Linda Wappelhorst, David Ring, Joyce Liette, Brittany Dirksen, Michele Schneible, Brad Grilliot, John Knapke, Judy Byers, Jodi Kremer, Peggy Rehmert, Scarlet Francis, Deb Clark Shaffer, Leslie Ward, Brenda Reichard, Janet Bielefeld, Nancy Streib, Tracy Canan Mayo, Nancy DeMange Niekamp, Terry Marker, Pat Custenborder, Marvin Luthman, and those I missed as their birthdays approach, as well as anniversary wishes to Brooke and Jonathan Hart (1), Elaine and Ron Marshall (37), Cindy and Nick Eilerman (41).
Please keep in your prayers Michele Lynn Doenges Hudson (44), Katherine Kohn Spoltman (66), Roger Stewart (78), and all those who have passed, including those whose anniversary of their passing is near. Please give your caring prayers of comfort and healing for the innumerable sick and suffering, for the many who struggle, the compassionate caregivers and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.
As an act of kindness, take responsibility for your past mistakes, ask forgiveness, and repair matters, if possible. After that it’s beyond your control so even if you don’t receive forgiveness for your past trespasses, forgive yourself, accept what is and let go of what could have been. You don’t need to be burdened by guilt or shame. Then make the effort to do no harm to anyone ever again. Remember to be wise in the way you act towards others. In everything treat others as you would want them to treat you.