Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high, look it quarely in the eye and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.' -Ann Landers
Sometimes in life we spend too much time being hard on ourselves and throwing a pity party for the lot in life we were given.
I did not have the advantage of growing up in a two parent household and I was DEFINITELY not a trust fund baby. No one has ever given me a thing and I have had to work 10 x's harder for everything I have because I am young, black, a women and from the age of 17 I have been a mother. Sometimes, I felt sad when I compared my life to others that seemingly had things easier than I did. Now as I grow older and wiser, I am thankful for the work ethic that my hard knock life instilled in me. I have a great appreciation for the gifts that I am bestowed and I have incredible self esteem knowing that I can truly accomplish anything. I do not spend alot of time worrying about losing it all and living in poverty because I already know what that feels like. Instead I focus on creating wealth and a legacy for my children. The following passage reinstilled what I have learned in the past few years post college. I may have actually had an unfair advantage being exposed to such hardship and strife at an early age. It is because of these experiences that I have sought the path of enlightenment and am able to appeal to people of all walks of life. I have been there and have an understanding of life that you cant read about or pay money to experience.
My advice to you is to look forward to the trials and tribulations that will inevitably permeate your existence. Obstacles are put in our path to give us a chance to overcome them. We must overcome just as Jesus overcame before us.
John 16:33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Revelation 3:21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
I borrowed the following anecdote from the brilliant author Ichi Lee, author of Brain Waves. I found the message behind it very powerful.
There is an old Buddhist parable that describes four kinds of horses. The first kind is very easy to train, reacting to the master's whip before it has even touched the animal. The second kind reacts as soon as the whip touches the hair. The third horse must feel it in the muscles before reacting. The fourth kind must feel the pain of the whip to the bone before conforming to the master's will.
Which kind of horse do you think is best? Most people assume that the first kind of horse is best. It is certainly the least problematic and the one that requires the least attention. The fourth one, by comparison, seems like too much trouble. Yet, in the end, all of the horses end up in the same place. There is no reason to think that a horse that has taken longer to train will be any less serviceable. In fact, the biggest, strongest stallions are usually the most difficult animals, at least in the beginning.
You might ask yourself which horse you are most like. Maybe you are like that willful, stubborn horse, learning life's lessons slowly and only through great suffering. You should not beat up on yourself about that, however. In the end, you will end up in the same place as the quick horses around you. In fact, your understanding of life may be even deeper than those to whom understanding comes quickly. For them, the real meaning of life may remain a mere shadow. The fourth horse, on the other hand, understands the whip as the first horse never will. Because you have experienced the sting of life's lessons right down to the bone, you can truly understand the meaning of your life. It is in that way that the worst have the chance to be better than the best.