"Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." This, from Viktor Frankl, who spent 3 years in a concentration camp.
Like Viktor Frankl, I believe that every one of us, whether we are young or old, poor, rich, sick, healthy, sad, or happy, has the wherewithal to seek meaning in our lives. This is what makes us human: the desire to find love and meaning, even in life's darkest hour.
Recently I wrote about finding ways to balance yourself, rather than work and life. It struck a chord -- a lot of us are struggling to find a way to "manage" everything we do, and in fact are failing miserably. That's because there is no such thing as work-life balance. We can only balance ourselves, starting from the inside out. I find this message hopeful, and I'm grateful to my readers who added to the conversation with hopeful and positive messages of their own.
For some people, however, my writing struck a nerve. These folks seem to think that it's impossible for anyone other than the very wealthy to have the time, energy, or even the will to focus on personal well-being. I think that's a load of crap.
I was very poor for many years. Later, I was a single parent, scared to death and still completely stressed out about money. It seemed, for a while, that life itself was against me. Have you ever been there? Poor, or so worried about money it's difficult to think about anything else? Or maybe your low came in a different form -- a broken relationship, an accident, loss of a loved one. Whatever the reason, we all find ourselves struggling with life at one time or another. And contrary to what some people believe, it is precisely at these moments that our humanity is most precious. When we are at our lowest point, hope is most powerful. When we are most stressed and troubled, finding peace within is the most rewarding. When we are most in need, small gifts are most precious.
I hold strong in my belief that each and every one of us can find ways to bring more peace to our lives. And when we do, we become beacons of hope for others.
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