What makes life worth living?

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” Theodore Roosevelt

This quote comes to mind when I talk to Mallory about the challenges she has faced in life. Most days, I do not envy people who have lived easy lives. I have had days that I wished were easier, but in the grand scheme, I would change very little about my life. The difficult days have made me stronger, have given me a greater appreciation for life, and have shaped who I am. Those who do not face a demanding life, cannot fully appreciate times of beauty like someone who has had to overcome challenges.

I can say that, but I have never known anyone that hasn’t had some challenges in their life. Not many have had to face the pain of losing a child, but everyone has things they have to work through. Everyone has people they worry about. And everyone has their own struggles. There are people who have said they don’t want to complain to me about what is going on in their life because it is trivial compared to our loss, and they don’t want to seem ungrateful for their life. My response is usually the same:

Your loss and your pain cannot compare to anyone else’s. If this is the worst thing you have ever gone through, then it is the worst pain you have ever experienced. You can’t compare your life and your pain to anyone else’s because you haven’t lived their life or felt their pain. You are allowed to feel what you feel, and I am always here and willing to listen and help. Please don’t think that I will think you are being foolish.

Today I hope that you know I am here if you need me. I am here to listen, to hold your hand, and to help in anyway I can. Please let me help.

Dear God,
Thank you for making us a people that need others. Help us to know how to reach out to those in pain, that we may help. Thank you for giving us the hope and promise of a life after this one that is better than we can ever imagine.
In your name,
Amen

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