Is That Thought True?

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This summer I hiked through Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon with a group of awesome ladies. The hikes were challenging at times, but a goal I had set for myself and achieved. Another example that life is still good.

It does if you want it to.

That’s how my friend, who has been a widow three years longer than I have been, responded to my question, “Does life get any better?”

Her response was a game changer for me this year in how I’m approaching life as I move forward. Honestly, what I expected to hear from her was something like, “Well, there are days that are easier than others; life will never be the same, as you know. You will have ups and downs.” All logical and true responses. But her directness about what I can control has been the best counsel I’ve received since my husband died. 

Life gets better if you want it to. And I get to choose.

Her response reminds me that my thoughts drive my feelings. Here’s what that doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that I pretend that I’m not grieving–that I push down my emotions and slap on a smile. If I don’t acknowledge grief, it hounds me until I do–until I have that good cry or sit with that funky, angry mood. I lost a person, a love, a life that was very important to me. Grief is a part of my life now. But I don’t have to get stuck in it or be controlled by it. Facing it straight on is the best way to go through it.

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