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For some, the pursuit of happiness is like a blind man in a dark room searching for a black cat that isn't there! Others think happiness is within sight but beyond reach like the proverbial carrot dangling before a donkey's mouth. The majority, however, have the carrot right in their mouths and yet deep down they feel disturbed, frustrated and miserable.
This is because their wounds are inside - they are hurting from within. Some time in their past, services were forgotten. Honors were obstructed. Apologies were never offered. Compensation was insufficient. Judgment was unjust. Loyalty was never reciprocated. Love was unacknowledged.
Many feel they must find a way to avoid further pain in their lives. However, a life without pain is impossible. We should not waste time and energy trying to avoid pain. Indeed, we need to accept it as a part and parcel of life and try to learn something from it.
Nothing happens without a purpose. Pain is a clarion call. It is information given to you, that's all. When a person places his hand on a hot stove and scorches his skin, the stove is not punishing him it is merely telling him to quickly move to a safe distance, or else he may come to greater harm. When a person suffers the pain of a kidney stone, the stone is not punishing him, but explaining to him something about his body and diet. In instances of extreme pain - emotional or physical - nature is informing us that we are searching for happiness in entirely the wrong direction and something needs to be changed drastically.
We must all go through experiences bitter or sweet. So why not grow through them, as well? Raise yourself to your higher and more powerful self. Try not to go to "pity parties" and wallow in your lower state - self-pity, grudges, grievances and bitter memories. Take charge of your life and cherish the lessons you learn. These lessons are your true wealth. The more lessons you have learned, the richer you are! They make you richer than even the richest people in the world who have failed to learn from their past. You will have lived life to the fullest. You will have flown to the heights of life and also touched its depths. You will have enjoyed all its dimensions and all its benedictions. You will have missed nothing. For such persons, even the approach of death, which is the worst thing that can happen, is a wonderful lesson! Death becomes the final flowering - the last act, the masterstroke, the crowning glory of a life well lived.
In life, when one door to happiness closes, another even better one opens! You just have to stop staring at the door that has closed and turn your attention somewhere else or even somewhere within yourself. Maybe you've missed something more important. Maybe you've overlooked or forgotten something your mother or father taught you long ago, something you had long concluded yourself.
In New York City, at the Institute of Physical and Medical Rehabilitation, there is a bronze plaque riveted to the wall. The inscription has been copied from the diary of an unknown confederate soldier:
"I asked God for strength that I might achieve. But I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.
I asked for health that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness so that I might feel the need of God.
I got none of the things I asked for, but I got a life that I might appreciate all things.
I am of all men, one of the most richly blessed."
From this wonderful, lofty viewpoint, please reassess how lucky you really are! You are not a victim at all. You are, in fact, the victor!

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