I know what you're thinking, 'Two in one day?!', Yeah, well, don't get used to it, kids :P And this one isn't really about China or Daqing or anything really. Just been thinking about life today & after that first post I had to write some more or my head would explode :P Please note that the official title of this blog post is 'Everything happens for a reason, This too shall pass, and other clichés that happen to be true.' but it's too long to fit in the title space, haha! Being the Pollyanna that I pretty much have always been, I've often been told that my views on life aren’t realistic, or that my beliefs, such as everything happens for a reason are 'such a cliché’. But still, I stuck with my clichés and happily trod along my own path in my own reality. Being told these things when I was younger taught me quickly that other people aren’t as open to positivity as I am. Yes, sayings like everything happens for a reason might well be a big fat cliché, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. In my experience, I have learned time and time again that everything really does happen for a reason, but I guess you have to be open enough to accept that. Anything that has ever happened in my life that I saw as ‘bad’ at the time, always lead to something better for me, either by pointing me in a completely new direction or teaching me a valuable life-lesson that has shaped who I am today. As a hopeful teenager, I would try to help others to see things more positively, but I then began to learn that until they decide that they want something different than what they have, there’s nothing anyone or anything can do to change their mindset. Some people are just so terrified of any type of change or are so afraid to let go of the controls that they just stay stuck, sometimes for their whole lives. I know this, not only because I’ve seen it, but because I’ve been there. I’ve been paralysed with fear, stuck in a negative mindset, had times when everything looked so bad that I didn’t know what to do. Who hasn't had those times? I always remember the Buddhist saying, ‘This too shall pass.’ And, even if I don’t believe it at the time, there’s always a way through it. In my world, no type of change is as scary as being stuck in the same unhealthy mindset or environment for the rest of my life. In my life, I want to always be moving forward, growing, learning, and evolving. If others choose not move forward with me, then that’s their business and I will let them go as I continue down the path that is right for me. I don’t mean to sound self-righteous, I’m not saying that everything I’ve stated here is complete truth, it’s not, it’s just my opinion. It’s my own truth. What is true is that everyone has their own path. My path is not right for everyone (that’s for sure!) and the paths of others are not right for me. Over the years I’ve come to learn how to respect the paths that others choose to take, and I’ve also come to learn how to politely ignore others when they attempt to sway me from my own path or poke fun at me because of the way I view life and the world. There are always going to be people who don’t agree, don’t understand and don’t respect the paths we choose, but these people do us a great favour by teaching us how to be strong, stick to our values & follow our hearts. They will challenge us, but their opposition tests our strength, courage & commitment, often causing us to move forward with our beliefs even more firm than before. We will also come across people who follow a similar path to ours, people we will admire and want to learn from. Just by being in the company of these like-minded people, we can learn so much more about who we are and who we want to be. Everyone who enters your life can teach you something about yourself. They don’t even have to be people you know, they can be fictional characters, politicians, movie stars, authors, even people you simply pass by on the street can change your life forever. Some people are meant to stay in your life so that you can always learn and grow with their help, and they can always learn and grow with your help. Others may only stay in your life for a few years at most, they will teach you what they need to and then you will go your separate ways. But that's okay because everything happens for a reason. People can teach you how to be strong by knocking you down. They can teach you to really explore who you are and what kind of life you want to live by poking holes in your beliefs, forcing you to rethink your ideals and either throw them away and start again or build on the beliefs even more so that they will be stronger than ever before. They can teach you more about who you want to be by showing you how they live, and they can also teach you more about who you don’t want to be by showing you how they live. It works both ways. But no matter what, as long as you remember that there is no wrong or right - there are only differences - you can learn something from everyone & everything that happens in life, if you just take a moment to open your eyes.