I recently met with a friend who lost her husband suddenly in a tragic accident. I was there to listen, comfort and help, yet all I could say at the end when she asked me how I did it is, “Yes, things are really gonna suck, but you have to accept that and find a way to get out of bed every single day until it starts to get better. Eventually it will get better, but not before it sucks.”
Great advice, huh? Yeah, I was surprised at how raw that sounded, but it was the truth. So when I read Sheryl Sandberg’s speech to the University of California’s graduating class, I felt such a sense of validation! Sheryl spoke the truth about life and death, and life after death and resilience through the tough times. But most importantly, she spoke about the blessings that come from life’s losses. She says:
“It is the greatest irony of my life that losing my husband helped me find deeper gratitude — gratitude for the kindness of my friends, the love of my family, the laughter of my children. My hope for you is that you can find that gratitude — not just on the good days, but on the hard ones, when you will really need it.”
Becoming the best version of yourself often comes after a life-altering event when you’re forced to change direction, start a new life, become a new YOU. The secret is in never forgetting why or how you got there, and appreciating that you’re on this path for a reason.