Remember James Taylor’s iconic song, “You’ve Got a Friend”? “When you’re down and troubled and…nothing is going right, close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights.”
We all have painful, depressing, fearful experiences and times. A friend, whether in person or via phone or Internet, can make a big difference in gloomy straits. With or without such precious external support, we need to persevere through such darkness to brighter days through our own inner resources, including our friendship with ourselves.
An affirmation attributed to country singer Reba McEntire concretizes such inner resources as “…a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone!” In this context, these bones represent hope, courage and humor, three traits that help us love life even when it seems unbearable.
Think about how much your hope has helped you overcome, or at least outlast, seemingly intractable obstacles. How does your hope, whatever its sources, contribute to your optimism in the face of unwelcome bumps in your road?
Whether or not you think of yourself as courageous, you haven’t gotten this far without courage. A quick review of your life will identify more than one serious problem over which you have prevailed.
Humor can refer to the amusing or downright funny side of things. How often have you found respite from a painful challenge through comedy or silliness? Sometimes you see the humorous in a thing, situation or event on your own. Often it takes you and another or others to brighten things up and laugh together.
You may be suffering through a painful time these days, or you may be happy and looking forward to your future. However, even when things are going well and we’re happy and productive, there’s the ever-abiding fear, at various levels of our being, that something will change and our personal lives will become an unspeakable, horrendous nightmare.
The hope is that we thoroughly let in and enjoy our good fortune and varied satisfactions, and that we find the hope, courage and humor that we need to get through rough patches from our inner resources, caring friends and unexpected gifts from tomorrow.