Most individuals grow up thinking life will be easy, not filled with problem after problem to overcome. I call this the happy ever after or fairy tale syndrome. Then reality hits. About the time you begin elementary school, you find out that there will be opposition in your way. You will have weaknesses and insecurities to overcome plus stumbling blocks that can completely stop you or can be used as stepping stones to better understand YOU-the unique person you are discovering.
Learning to look at life as series of problems to solve and using all your creative energies can be a major step in becoming a stronger happier individual. Unfortunately it takes time and many varied problems to overcome in order to change and improve. This is where families can help giving support, encouragement and understanding to each other. Time and experience are useful teachers, and loving friends who can support you in your journey. Networking again.
Physical or health challenges are some of the learning experiences you face as you grow older. The process of overcoming challenges can make you more sympathetic to others that face the same challenges. One of life’s common struggles is learning to live alone either because of never marrying, divorce or death of a spouse. Having a strong faith can give you comfort in living alone. Having a hope of reuniting with a lost loved one or finding another companion at some point in your life can assist you to get through this difficult time. Reaching out to others in the same situation can ease the heartache. You can do this now with your children and grandchildren. Be a listening ear and compassionate heart. Help them explore all possibilities for solving their problems or conflicts. Model for them how you do this as you age and continue to accept and overcome problems.
When I went through my divorce many years ago, I was helped by reaching out for advice and support from other family members who had faced the same situation in their lives. (Photo on left is my cousin Marion who got divorced the same year I did.) Now I find I can do that for those family members and friends struggling to overcome the effects of divorce and the many adjustments and self-doubt that come. Having been a single parent trying to raise my children, there are insights I gained that I can also share. My empathy is certainly higher. Although I haven’t lost a spouse to death, I have experienced loss.