That title has been my mantra most of my life. I first heard those words from my father back when I was in the third grade. In my early years, my family moved around every few years as my father’s job changed. The worst moves were the ones in the middle of a school year where you came in as the “new kid”.
We moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in the middle of my third grade and I was miserable! I didn’t want to go to school as a felt like I didn’t fit in. No one talked to me. I was alone and mentally ached. In my pain, I learned how to make myself throw up to get out of going. After a few days of this, my parents caught on.
I still remember my father listening to my tales of woe about how bad school was. He listened for a while and then gave me a hug and said that I just needed to push through it and go to school. And then he added, “remember, Mark, everything has a way of working out all right.”
Yes, I survived third-grade, everything worked out all right – and I’ve lived through even worse things since then. And my dad’ s words have always stayed with me in moments of crisis and pain.
We’ve all had our individual challenges in life. From the endings of relationships through death or divorce, financial problems, job loss, health challenges and more – we have all learned to navigate through situations we did not and would not purposely choose.
As I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve come to realize that each of these situations gave me a gift. Yes, they were painful at the time and in the midst of the challenge, I really did not want to hear that goodness was coming from the hurt. Yet in those dark moments, my father’s words gave me hope and comfort.
With time and distance, each test was seen in a new light. The endings of jobs opened the space for new experiences. The endings of relationships opened the space for new ones. Health challenges reminded me of the importance of healthy lifestyles and the gift of this physical body. I have learned lessons and experienced life at a much deeper level because of the tests. Darkness always brought light.
It’s this wisdom within those of us who have lived through enough pain to know that we eventually return to a life of joy that has given birth to those movements that remind young people on the precipice to hang on, to let them know that “things get better”. We know it from experience – we hope they take it on faith.
I took it on faith that my father was right – and he was, in that situation in the third grade and everyone since then when I held to those words. I know that no matter what challenge each of us faces individually or this world faces in this moment, we must all have faith that things will get better.
One of the main characters in a recent popular movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, stated it this way – “everything will be all right in the end, if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.” Good advice for these challenging times.
Or as my father once told me, “everything has a way of working out all right”. I know on a very deep level the truth of those words. They have served me well. I hope they serve you.
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!