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Making It Happen
Posted By Leigh Anne Tuohy On September 20, 2011 @ 8:00 am In Volunteering | Comments Disabled
It’s hard to look suffering in the face. There is nothing pretty, nice or pleasant about it. In a world that tells us image is everything, we try and make life appear as picturesque as possible, yet the realities are unavoidable. Simply turn on the news. As a nation we have recently witnessed earthquakes, hurricanes and a 15 % poverty rate. There are orphans in every city, as well as hunger in every community. With each passing day things seem to spiral more out of control. Life can be really tough sometimes.
As you can well imagine, I want to “right all the wrongs” but how? There is no instruction manual or outline on how to fix life’s misfortunes. These misfortunes alter the paths that life had us on; they often leave us feeling inadequate, fearful, angry and many times desperate. Why would be the most commonly asked question? Why is this happening to me? Why isn’t life going according to our plan?
As a society, we have figured out many things, yet there is still so much we don’t understand. After Sean and I had been married a few years, we hocked everything, borrowed from everyone we knew, and I think even raked leaves and trimmed bushes to scrap together enough money for our dream - a fast food restaurant. We planned and schemed and thought we had found the perfect situation for us. It was a Burger King. We filled out stacks of papers, signed things that we didn’t even know what they meant, and I think even promised a first born child and sent it all to the appropriate “fast food authorities” and waited. We sat by the phone, we paced the floor, and we ran to the mailbox every day for what seemed like an eternity.
Finally one Thursday afternoon Sean walked into the house, and I knew from the look on his face that it was bad news. He just looked at me and said, “We didn’t get approved.” How could we not get approved? We did everything right ;we played by the rules and this was not fair! We were stunned. At that moment, we could not have imagined anything being any worse. Guess what…we were so very wrong.
As I sit here today, we own in excess of 70 fast food restaurants. They just are not Burger Kings; they are Taco Bells, KFC’s, Long John Silver’s, and Pizza Huts. The plan was altered and I’m really thankful because frankly that King on their commercials scares me!
So learn from the rejection, the failure, and even the suffering. In my life, I have found that struggles and suffering have built character and awareness in me. Sean and I told and continue to tell our three kids,
“You learn from misfortune and mistakes; it’s part of what makes you who you are.”
Use the rejections and failures as growth opportunities. Let them fuel your willpower to press on, to reach the finish line.
My grandmother always told me when a door closes, a window always opens. This new path will give you a different level of motivation and determination, fresh strength of mind and character. For some reason the worst of times seem to make us more grateful, hopeful, and stronger. “This too will pass,” is what I literally heard myself say to SJ yesterday. He said, “What does that mean?” For a brief moment I said to myself that I sounded like my mother, but I explained to him what I meant by the statement.
The unknown, the uncharted territory, the suffering and rejections will one day be a memory and you again will be in a good spot in your life. You will once again unearth the treasures life has to offer and find true happiness and fulfillment and put your God-given talents to use and do what you were made to do. I hope you will do all the good you can with what you have available! It’s truly amazing how helping others can eliminate so much suffering! Why not start today?
You can volunteer in your community through Create The Good .
Photo By GenBug 
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @LeighAnneTuohy  and play #TuohyTrivia on Tuesdays for a chance to win a $25 donation to the charity of your choice for answering the question correctly. Learn more about my family’s charity at The Making It Happen Foundation .
Miss one of my previous posts? You can view them all HERE .
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/5255923951_fd1e92c36e.jpg
 Create The Good: http://www.createthegood.org
 GenBug: http://www.flickr.com/photos/genbug/5255923951/sizes/m/in/photostream/
 @LeighAnneTuohy: http://www.twitter.com/LeighAnneTuohy
 The Making It Happen Foundation: http://www.makingithappenfoundation.com/
 HERE: http://blog.aarp.org/author/leighannetuohy/
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