Jackpot? $590,000,000. Being OK? Priceless.

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2013 Nancy Virden

two people making money dealAnother inspirational moment. Another divorce.  Another death.  Another win.

Stories abound on the news, social media sites, at workplaces, and in homes. The mix of happy and sad seems unbalanced at times, as difficult “newsworthy” stories raise ratings, careers, and cash.

Last week, an elderly woman won $590 million dollars in the lottery. A younger woman who is raising a family had kindly allowed the winner to step ahead of her in line when the ticket was purchased. Headlines read, It Doesn’t Pay to be Kind; Woman Loses Millions by Being Kind; one reporter said, “It’s good to be nice except in the lottery line.”

Not only is this ridiculous (because the millions dollar ticket could just as easily have been handed to the customer behind her were it not for a series of events), but it is a lost opportunity to display how one can be OK and not have everything easy.  The woman and daughter who offered a place in line to the elderly winner were briefly seen on one newscast. The mother said to her young child, “It’s more important to be kind than rich.”

Now, that was newsworthy.

I believe they will be ok. Other than having every other person walking past them saying, “Too bad,” their lives haven’t changed much. The content little girl will hopefully remain content, as so the mother. Would it hurt to just miss the possibility of all one’s financial worries disappear? I’m sure it does! Will there be challenges ahead that remind them how much simpler life could be if only? No doubt. Will future decisions be affected by this? I imagine there could be some hesitancy to invite people ahead in line, at least in brief thought.  Still, I believe they will be ok.

What does “OK” look like? It is not utopia nor heaven-on-earth. We can be ok because we choose to be, founded on the knowledge we have the power to face life as-is.

  • OK is not the absence of pain.
  • OK is more than surviving for the sake of surviving.
  • OK is not denial of what’s real.
  • OK does not have to be decided by someone else.
  • OK is knowing God has a plan and trusting in that plan.
  • OK is believing “this too will pass.”
  • OK is understanding you can fail AND keep going forward
  • OK is trusting you can hurt badly, even hurt every day, AND still have a joyful purpose
  • OK is accepting you are valuable regardless of negative messages or past injury

I used to believe everything in my life had to be going smoothly or I was not ok, was making colossal mistakes, and was unlovable. That kind of black and white, all-or-nothing thinking has to stop.  I’m ok because of lessons learned on how to better cope with inevitable hardships. And I can remain ok as long as my choice is to be so.

*****

NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

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