See the good…in ALL things

May 2023 Mentor Message

The past few months have been brutal for my mentee. Her child was hospitalized with severe pneumonia, her boyfriend walked out on her, her grandmother was at the brink of death, she got evicted from her housing for the 3rd time, and she ended up, again, in a homeless shelter with 5 young children. Things were bleak and I could sense she was cracking under the pressure. She feared she was headed for a nervous breakdown. I was at a loss for words. How do you comfort someone where everything is going terribly wrong and seeming so hopeless?

We spoke over the phone, almost daily for a while. I reminded her of all the obstacles she had overcome in her past, which demonstrated that she is strong, had done hard things and could do it again. I encouraged my friend to consider all the things that were right in her life, to treasure and be grateful for even the small things and to have an eye to see the good.

I reminded her that life gives us many experiences; some come from our own doing, others just happen, while others unjustly happen; the key is to learn from each experience. We talked about the choices that led to her eviction and what she could do differently next time. I shared the quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Once a consequence is in play, the key is focusing on how to move forward in a positive direction. I shared with her, “the situation is what it is, it happened, the past is the past, but now you can learn, move forward, and choose how you will respond. 

A few days passed, each time she would call I expected to hear a voice depleted and overcome, but instead, I could hear confidence and light-hardheartedness. She shared funny things about her kids, and her efforts to be positive and grateful.

One day I saw a post online where she said these words, “I know I’m homeless but I’m meeting the most amazing friends and new people. Everything happens for a reason and I’m trying to look at things positive and not negative.”

It was powerful to see that gratitude and embracing and learning from the good and bad in life are empowering tools that ease our burdens, lighten our emotional load and allow us to move from a victim mentality to agents of change, improvement, and happiness.

There are rough roads ahead for your mentee. Your words have power and can inspire them to keep going, keep changing, keep trying, and invite them to choose gratitude and see the good….in everything.