The idea of finding peace or joy while experiencing a season of pain and hardship seems at odds with reality. One need only read the newspapers (or look in the mirror) to see there is an overwhelming amount of suffering in the world. Every day. Without ceasing.
When life is bending us to the breaking point and we’re forced to deal with the painful parts of life we all so desperately hope to avoid, the last thing that seems attainable is a happy life, one lived to the fullest. Is it even possible?
Mahatma Gandhi said,
“In the midst of darkness light persists.”
Therein lies the secret to living life to the fullest in the midst of pain. The pursuit of a remarkable life doesn’t deny the reality of pain, or even try to diminish the significance of it, but rather, recognizes that every individual has the freedom to choose whether to focus on the darkness or the light.
Even in the darkest days, there is beauty to be seen and experienced. In the midst of sorrow, there is still joy to be had if we look in the right places, but we must choose to look, purposefully, away from the darkness and into the light.
We need to pause and reflect long enough to figure out what truly brings a smile to our heart. We need to know where to find light in the darkness. It always persists. For me, I always find joy in the smile of a baby, or watching the sun set into the sea. I find great enjoyment playing the guitar or piano, and can’t help but smile when I strum a ukulele. And I will always enjoy strolling through Central Park with my beautiful wife.
How does one live life to the fullest in the midst of pain? By regularly pursuing the small things that bring us joy, despite the pain. By pursuing the light in the midst of the darkness. The pain won’t disappear, but there will life in the midst of it.