As I was browsing through Pinterest the other night, I came upon this quote from Steve Maraboli- “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”
Needless to say, I re-pinned it. But I also really started to question the truth behind this quote, which this post will explore in some detail.
How many of you have felt this way? Defeated. Overcome. Completely done. As Marboli says, these rejections that we face seem to be the end of the world. Many times I find myself saying, “What else could go wrong?” If you can remember, what has happened because of those troubling and heartbreaking times? Usually, you learn something from the experience, build strength and determination from it, or even get offered an even better opportunity afterwards. I know this is all in hindsight, but there is a pattern! God works in mysterious ways, and even if you do not believe in a higher being, I’m sure we can agree that each and every one of us has a plan for our lives. On our journey through life it is impossible to avoid pain and suffering, that’s just how humanity works. On the other hand, we have the intelligence and capability to learn from our mistakes, grow in our weaknesses, and become stronger through the hard times in life. I know what you’re thinking right now… “She’s being way too optimistic.” Or “She has no idea what I have gone through.” Yes, you may be right. This does sound a bit too hopeful and positive, considering that suffering is not normally a good thing, especially when we are experiencing it in the moment. I also cannot imagine the pain that most of you have gone through, but I am a teenage girl, so I can assure you that I have been through my share of intense drama, disappointing heartbreaks, and humiliating experiences myself. With that being said, I offer you a few points to think about:
Everything happens for a reason. This is one of my biggest life mottos. If you can believe this, and remember that your stress and suffering is meant to be in your life for some reason it will save you at least a little bit of heartbreak. Where you are right now does not determine your future. Now, what you decide to do with your successes and failures do, so take full advantage of what you’ve been given (resources, lessons, etc.). But just remember that where you are today is where you are supposed to be… Because everything happens for a reason.
“If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.” This is an old quote I have heard a lot, but I think it is really relevant in this discussion. A lot of times we want only the good in life, but none of the suffering or toil that get us to the good times. But as Dolly Parton tells us, we have to trek through the rain in order to survive to see the rainbow. Now suffering is subjective, so it might be a little trickle or a torrential downpour, but no matter the pain you can make it through! Just keep going and remind yourself that there is a plan, and you have the opportunity to turn this catastrophe into a beautiful surprise.
You have not been defeated; you have been given a chance to prove them wrong. What would have happened if people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, or Mother Teresa just gave up when things got hard? These are figures that have changed the course of history, and went through an incredible amount of suffering do so. They did not view the suffering as defeat, though. Instead, they used it as fuel to propel themselves further than what others thought possible. As I have stated before, the future is in your hands; don’t give up when things get rough!
Now, I’m not expecting for us all to be perfect now and recognize that suffering always leads to good things. In fact, it only leads to positive outcomes when we change our course of direction. So take control of your mindset. Think positive and don’t let setbacks keep you from accomplishing your dreams. Lastly, I want to leave you with something my mom always told me growing up. “It’s not over.” You’ve probably heard this a bazillion times, but just remember this every time you feel defeated or think about giving up. You have so much to offer this world, and no one can take that away from you. You may be heading down into the biggest ditch of your life, but you have time to get back out because it’s not over! Turn your rejection into a new direction.
Abbie Hebron is a college freshman at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri majoring in Dietetics. Originally from O’Fallon, Missouri, Abbie was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Missouri for 2014. Learn more about Abbie here!