A Never-Ending Story of Light and Shade

There is a whole lot of drama in the world at the moment.

Susie lost her unborn baby unexpectedly. Nick’s mum passed away after a long struggle with cancer. Julie quit her job and told her abusive boss to go ***k himself (that felt good). Chris found out that his wife was having an affair with their neighbour. Little Billy wasn’t picked for the school football team.

And that was just yesterday.

Most of us live in instants of time, transfixed by what is going on around us, our minds unable to bring back the past or look toward the future. Management gurus would call it “being present,” but when the present is painful, it is not really a place where you want to be for long. You want to move on, you want to make new memories, but life doesn’t always let you move on so easily.

To help you endure the darker periods, you need to keep faith that lighter times will come. They always have in the past, haven’t they?

I’m not sure about you, but when I have endured tough times in the past, there has always been a moment when something happens out of the blue to restore my faith. Many of the examples are too banal to share here, but you feel like the universe is sending you a message that everything will work out okay in the end.

In our mid-twenties, my wife and I struggled to have a baby for a while. We were living abroad in Russia, both with stressful jobs, but we suddenly realised that we desperately wanted a family. We both wanted kids so much, but life put a few obstacles in our way. I remember walking back from that first devastating appointment, putting on a brave face, but crying inside. The chances apparently weren’t high and black clouds gathered over what we had assumed would be a rosy future. We kept trying everything that we could, but we eventually decided to quit our lucrative jobs and start IVF treatment back in the UK. Two weeks before the flight back, my wife walked into the bedroom with a home pregnancy test. It was positive. We still went to that IVF appointment, but instead of discussing our options, we saw our unborn baby on the screen. Seven months later our daughter was born. Ten months after that, our son was conceived at the first attempt.

Since then, I have never given up hope for a better future.

Darkness may be defined as the absence of light, but can we really say that life is ever truly dark? Hope always helps our eyes to acclimatise.

The shock of Brexit and the election of Trump has plunged half of the U.S. and the UK into darkness, but for the other half, they are a beacon of light. My life turned that little bit darker when we voted to leave the EU, but the drop in the pound has made working with foreign clients that little bit more profitable. It might not be all that bad.

Billy wasn’t picked for the football team, but he decided to take up gymnastics.

He might be Olympic champion one day.

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