New challenges that pop up in our life, regardless of the level of difficulty, bring the realization that the other aspects of our lives must go on. In most cases, we still have a job and responsibilities at home that require our time and attention. But with God’s help, one can to adapt to changes.
“A new normal,” as I’ve always called it. You know what I mean. When things change – and it’s not temporary.
It takes time, patience, prayer, faith … and, well … perseverance.
And often when things in our life go awry, unfortunately bad habits and faults often return to rear their ugly little heads.
And the virtues we have worked so hard to obtain, suddenly become more of a challenge to maintain. It’s during life’s challenges that we find ourselves being impatient, judgmental, anxious, selfish, etc. … the list goes on and on.
And it’s during these times that we spend our time trying to find (and retrieve) something that is lost.
It’s also during these times that we can fall into self-doubt or even despair. When this has happened to me, I notice a little devil on my shoulder whispering to me, “Alan you’re a hypocrite, who are you to write a blog on virtue? Just last week you cut off a slow driver and gave him a dirty look. And let’s not forget about the unapologetic argument you had with your brother.”
And it’s at these moments that we realize we have lost some things that are very valuable — the ability to comprehend that we are all a work in progress — the ability to understand that with every failure we are given an opportunity to start anew – the ability to realize that a true path to virtue takes a daily effort.
Some people in life refuse to even consider an effort to improve their lives. Some actually make a half-hearted attempt but turn away at the first sign of difficulty.
I have learned that we must try again and again, in spite of our repeated failures. And by refusing to quit, our failures will occur less and less.
In life, with the help of God’s grace, we can only do our best to fulfill our resolutions. We cannot judge our progress by our feelings or by visible signs or by receiving praise from others.
All we can do is to purify our intentions, concentrate on the virtues we wish to improve upon and to strive to eliminate our own self-love in the process.
Becoming a better version of you will never be achieved in a day. Perhaps not even in a month or a year. But one thing is for sure – it will never be achieved at all if you never start working. It’s only with this determination, this continued sense of perseverance, that we can find something that is lost.
Our peace. Our gratitude.
Even our willingness to suffer, in order to help ourselves or others in need … or simply to do what is right. No matter how hard things get or how tempted you are to give up.
Remember, one step at a time. And you’re never alone.
With God’s help and guidance.