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  • Writer's pictureRobin Chestner-Hannon

What have I done to deserve all the terrible things happening to me?

My answer is many times we have done absolutely nothing to deserve the bad things that seem to happen in our lives.

There is a child that lives in all of us that has been taught if we are bad, we will be punished. This subconscious child is carried with us into adulthood. We still have this feeling that somehow if we were “good”, or “better” we’d be rewarded with good things.

The truth is we live in a fallen world that is not fair. Bad things happen to good people every day, and often there is no real rationalization for it. Sometimes it looks like bad people get away with things, and the good people suffer.

We all have this urge for justice. We want to be rewarded, we want our lives to be blessed, easy, and happy. Yet time and again we run up against unfair, unreasonable, and unjust things in our lives.

What I have learned is that I simply must realize that whatever happens has nothing to do with anything I do or did not do. No matter what I strive for, there is always going to be the harsh realities of living in an imperfect body in a far from perfect world.

Each day I strive to forgive myself for the things I could not change and remind myself of the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage the change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

I will choose to walk in forgiveness of myself, of my failings, and shortcomings. I am not responsible for other people’s actions good or bad towards me. I do not have to take in that I am a failure in any way. I can allow myself to cry over perceived wrongs or injustice, and stand having a solid base of self-care, and acceptance. I cannot save the world. I accept myself as I am, and I will take care of myself and honor my limitations.

I will not lay down for disrespect, I will have solid boundaries, and I will stand up as needed against bullies, narcissists, and negativity that would seek to bring me down. I will also realize that if I am alive there will be times of trouble, times of loss, times of tears. In that valley I will put one foot in front of the other. I will stand in the center of the storm with my feet rooted like a tree, taking nourishment where and when I can.

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