Live as if Life is Rigged in Your Favor

Time for some real talk. Life is hard. Sometimes it's really hard and you're left wondering what is the point of everything.

I've been struggling over the past few weeks, but it's really been increasing in difficulty in the past week. Work has been difficult; I got a promotion (yay!) and suddenly some people I thought were friends became people who started whispering things about me and my promotion around corners and behind closed doors.

And at the same time, my MBA experience has turned into a real life version of Mean Girls meets 13 Reasons Why - but way less funny.

[And disclaimer: this is clearly not all of my MBA friendships. The majority have been absolutely wonderful - this is just referring to a subset of people who I'm sure can identify themselves.

Needless to say, it's been rough. I try to take the high road in being kind, understanding and friendly to everyone I pass along the way, but sometimes that doesn't help you avoid mean-spirited or hurtful people.

But with the help of amazing, selfless friends who came to my rescue yesterday when I was hurting badly and God's helpful spirit sending me little reminders throughout the last few days, I am getting through it, one day - and sometimes one minute - at a time.

A few quotes and life lessons that have helped me along the way (and hopefully it helps you if you're struggling as well):

1) "Life as if Life is Rigged in Your Favor" - Rumi

This is very similar to Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God". The idea behind both sayings is to trust that every action and every experience is ultimately for your own benefit, no matter how difficult it is to go through. Whether it's a lesson that's supposed to be learned or it's a smaller danger sign that's keeping you away from the true danger, it's trusting that every experience can be viewed through a lens of making your life richer and better.

2) We Are All the Same

Whenever I start getting hurt or angry in thinking about how certain people have hurt me, I try to remind myself that ultimately we are all the same - even the perpetrators and their victims. We are all humans and every single day we wake up seeking the same things in life: happiness, life partners, love, friendship, meaning in our lives, children, health, the safety and well-being of our loved ones.

When I think about people in that sense, it's a lot easier to remember that people make mistakes along the way to achieving the same goals and to forgive them for their actions - because after all, we all make mistakes and hurt people along the way unintentionally as we try to reach those goals for ourselves.

To learn more about this, I highly recommend reading The Book of Joy by The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu as it speaks about this very concept in depth. It's powerful and I wish the world at large could understand this - Israelis and Palestinians, Democrats and Republicans, Muslims and Buddhists and Christians and atheists. We're all just people wanting the same things for our lives and our families.

Less hate and more understanding and love, please.

3) "Comparison is the Thief of Joy" - Theodore Roosevelt

My dear friend Jamie shared this quote with me (didn't I mention I had amazing friends?) as we shared some of our challenges in life that we're both facing. While the original context was given in explaining why work might be the way it is, it was also a good reminder that social media can be such a "stealing ground" of joy because all it does is invites comparison between other people's seemingly perfect lives and our own.

News flash: no one's lives are ever that cool. People don't share the bad online. And to that note, I've definitely had people mention how my social media pages make it look like my life is so great. And that's why I'm glad to have this blog to set the record straight and to share my struggles and issues and things that have helped me.

And point 4 isn't really a cool quote or saying, but I did want to share it. Yesterday morning I drove out to East LA for some volunteer work with Kidsave and For Goodness Cakes (two incredible organizations I'm so lucky I get to work with). In the midst of all of the stress with work and my school social life, getting to volunteer to help orphans from other countries and U.S. kids in foster care was a great reminder of how small my problems are compared to those who are truly helpless.

So if you're ever really struggling with your problems, look around in your community (and you might have to drive out a bit if you live Westside 😉).