“I don’t deserve this.” This is a line I used to tell myself whenever things got tough. We all hear this line and its many derivative cousins so often that we’ve all become so immune to it. But when was the last time we actually stopped and questioned it? Why don’t I deserve this? What makes me superior to anybody else? Surely if I say I don’t deserve it, I’m saying that there’s someone else out there who does deserve it, right? Why can we not just accept that this life that we live is full of so many random twists and turns, and maybe the essence of life is found in how we deal with all these occurrences?
I’ve certainly had my fair share of less-than-favourable experiences in my life, and I used to just question “Why me? Why do I deserve this? Why not anybody else?” and get frustrated, as you would, asking fruitless questions such as these. But I soon came to the realisation that, as cliche as it may be, each experience taught me something and made me a stronger person. Each experience took a new kind of mental and emotional strength that I had never before realised.
It’s funny how someone can say one line in a conversation and quickly forget about it themselves, but that one line flips your whole view on a certain aspect of life. I had never realised the kind of strength I had until one day, whilst sat in between church services with my youth group and a youth leader, a conversation began between the leader and a random member of the youth. I don’t even know what they were talking about, but I heard the leader say the words “She’s strong, you know. With everything she’s dealt with” in reference to me. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I found myself thinking about those words later on that day and reflecting on my life. Where I had once thought I had been weak and just a victim of life, I now realised I had somehow had the strength to weather the storm, and was now discovering a resilience I never knew I possessed. Had I not been through those experiences, would I now know how able I am? Would I still see myself as an inferior victim of my circumstances?
I remember reading somewhere about the “90/10% rule”, which basically says that life is 10% about what happens to you, and 90% about how you react. This rule reminds us that, yes, life may not be the fairest of dealers, but instead of asking ‘why me?,’ we should instead be asking ‘why not me?’ Yes, this situation may not be ideal but instead of allowing this situation to take dominance over us, let us exercise authority over our lives. When life hits us with a sly right hook from our blind spot, let’s not just fall to the floor and surrender. Get right back up and hit that mofo back.