When I was diagnosed with type one diabetes last Christmas, I felt angry, scared, helpless, and sad–almost every emotion except for grateful. I felt like my body had forsaken me, and like I would never have control over my health again.
I had always been spiritually minded, but my diagnosis sent me on a fervent quest for comfort, calm, and most of all, for answers. It wasn’t until I delved into the works of teachers like Eckhart Tolle and Paramahansa Yogananda that things began to come into focus: sometimes negative life events have to happen to make way for something much bigger and much more important than you ever could have imagined.
I’m still on my spiritual quest, and I probably will be for many, many lifetimes to come, but here are three things I’ve learned from the setbacks I’ve encountered so far:
1. Setbacks remind us of what’s really important. Without my health scare, would I really be as health-conscious as I am today? Would I be thinking critically about what I’m putting in my body and exercising every day, or would I still be taking my health for granted? Sometimes, we don’t realize how truly lucky we are to have working bodies and minds, so we abuse our gifts with unhealthy habits. My diagnosis has made me a thousand times more health conscious than I ever was before, and I’m so thankful to have had that realization at a young age.
2. Lows make the highs of life feel so much richer. In a perfect world, we’d all glide through life without conflict, but is there anything sweeter than the feeling of making up with your partner after a big fight, or feeling the relief of solving a massive problem at work? Without struggle and strife, things can get pretty boring, and setbacks can really help to put this idea into perspective.
3. Setbacks often lead to some pretty amazing opportunities and open doors that might have been previously closed. Have you ever lost out on a job, only to have something so much better come along later? Or have you ever had a relationship end, and then later realized that the break up was for the best? If I hadn’t been knocked down by my disease, I might never have changed my eating habits, discovered my love for yoga, or begun learning as much as possible about spiritual concepts like the law of attraction. The universe usually has a plan for us, and while it may be scary, sometimes the best thing to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
Are you grateful for any of the setbacks you’ve had in life? Let me know in the comments below!