“What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”
~Oscar Wilde

I was on the phone with a client yesterday, listening to him detail his most recent situation. It wasn’t good. He was in a tough spot at work with his boss and his team, and at the same time facing a rough situation at home. There truly seemed to be no space for reprieve for him.

I listened to him, allowing him to vent and express as much as he needed to. We strategized ways to handle his boss, to take care of his family, and to make sure he was taking care of himself so that he had energy to face all that was on his plate. I offered every bit of advice, every resource and support system, every tool and skill and article and pithy saying I could remember so that he would find what he needed. And then I reminded him of what I also knew to be true.

That many people I knew who had gone though the worst times – the most bitter trials – did find that they were blessings in disguise in the end. A job ends and a new, and better, career begins. A family struggles and is strengthened. Things come more clearly into focus, and we’re more sure of our priorities, our strengths, our resilience, and our ability to make it through. We lose what we thought we always wanted, only to find something better. Or that we never really wanted it at all.

It can be seen as “sour grapes” to view the world in this way. It can be seen as avoiding the truth of what’s going on. But it also can be true. I have witnessed clients, friends, colleagues and family struggle through bitter trials – to find the joy and success on the other side. And knowing this can give us the strength to keep going when the going gets tough.

I very carefully reminded my client that even if he would look back to see a blessing in disguise, it didn’t lessen the toughness of where he currently was. That I wasn’t, in any way, suggesting that he “cheer up and get over it.” Tough things are tough. They stink. They take every bit of our strength and resilience to move through.

And they just may be blessings in disguise.

What are your blessings in disguise? Click here to comment.

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For support in finding your blessings, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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