When times are good we don't need much to make us happy, however that's not really when we grow either. The fertile ground of growth exists in the times of hardship. Growth doesn't usually feel good either. In fact, growth can feel downright terrible and defeating, but it is a necessary part of getting older and wiser.
I recently underwent an emotional hardship of my own that was very defeating. Someone I cared deeply about broke my trust and exited my life. It was a huge blow that left me feeling very alone and unbearably sad, and I realized that I couldn't handle this defeat by myself.
Me, the person who prides himself on being independent and able bodied, the person who always lands on his feet, needed help in the form of emotional support. So I did the only thing I could think to do and surrounded myself with close family and friends.
It was because of my family and friends' understanding, compassion and love that I was able to find my footing and get grounded again. They reminded me of the generations of strong, courageous people from which I've descended.
I know I have the strength of my parents and grandparents who came before them to overcome anything. Even more importantly, I've discovered a newer, deeper love and compassion inside of myself for each of these supporters and the world at large that I did not know could exist.
Yes, I'm still dealing with the emotional fallout from my loss, but now I know that I have a whole team of unconditionally loving people around me to remind me of who I am if I get lost. It is for this reason I express my gratitude for those around me- my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and amazing friends- who have been my constant light and goodness in multiple dark moments. That is true love.