Life isn’t fair. I’m sure you’ve discovered that by now.

Sometimes you’ll lose the race no matter how hard you try.

Bad things will happen to good people.

Death and sickness may take someone you love.

At some point, you may lose a job or even a limb.

But even though there are moments that don’t seem fair, there are also moments of pure joy.

You may get to do work that is very fulfilling.

Maybe you’ve experienced some really great vacations.

Perhaps you have a family that is your greatest treasure.

Or you may be the epitome of health and fitness.

For every up, there is a down, and for every down, there will be an eventual up.

It’s inevitable that we will laugh, cry, shout, and even smile our way through life. We are human, after all.

No matter who we are, life will have its ups and downs.

When my son, Jacob, was six years old, he really wanted his own TV in his room. Of course, I didn’t want it to happen, but on a whim, while at a restaurant, we made a deal with him.

Jacob was a picky eater as a kid, and it was a battle to get him to eat anything. We agreed if he ate a mushroom, he could have his own TV in his room.

He was excited to take the challenge, but that poor kid tried to swallow the mushroom probably thirty times. No matter what he did, just couldn’t get it to stay down. He would gag it up every single time.

Finally, he said, “I just can’t do it. I just can’t do it, and I guess I’m not going to have a TV in my room.”

He didn’t get the TV, but it was a great lesson for all of us.

Life isn’t always fair. Nothing about that situation was fair.

On our end, we were trading a TV for a tiny mushroom. On Jacob’s end, he tried over and over again, but even with all his effort, he didn’t win the prize.

Sometimes life is just like that.

Don’t get stuck when life gets you down.

We have to realize that we aren’t always going to be successful in the things we pursue. We may not win the coveted prize. It’s certain that life isn’t always going to be sunshine and roses.

But we have to pick ourselves up and move forward anyway.

If we get stuck in the valleys of life, we’re going to miss the incredible views that come from making it to the top of the summit.

And if we only stayed on the summit, we’d miss some of those valuable lessons that can only be learned in life’s valleys.

The downs help us appreciate when life is good. They teach us important lessons like patience, endurance, grit, and resilience. They increase our fortitude and strengthen our determination.

It’s in the valleys that we gain the skills to truly endure hard things—and to endure them well.

When we’re moving through those challenging times, we get to learn what we’re made of and what truly matters to us the most.

It’s also an opportunity for us to learn coping skills that will enable us to not only help ourselves but to help other people who are also experiencing hardship.  

We need each other. Our experiences are meant to be shared.

The skills and experience we gain from the ups and downs in life are an important part of helping others.

It’s amazing to me how in marriage when I am having a bad day, my husband is there to lift and support me. And when he is having a bad day, I am there to lift and support him.

It’s important that we connect with others and find that source of support in our own life. It can make all the difference.

That way, we take turns lifting and supporting each other in those moments when life isn’t fair.  

If I spent all my time focusing on life’s struggles, it would be impossible for me to lift and support my husband on his rough days.

When we’re down on the ground crying about our own hardships, we will miss the opportunities to see everyone else in theirs.

We have to make the best of the circumstances we have been given, look up from our own sorrows, and see there are others in this world who need us.

There are people who need our story, our experience, our skills, and our perspective.

Life isn’t fair, but every cloud has a silver lining.

Although I am fully aware that life isn’t always sunshine and roses, I do my best to see the sunshine and roses in every difficult situation.

This is how I have chosen to show up in the world. And that is how I choose to spread goodness.

Even when life gets hard, my upbringing has taught me that we each have a responsibility to repair the world.

If life has you down because it seems so unfair, try to find the sunshine in the storm.

Do your best to actually seek out the sunshine.

What you look for, you will find. And at the crossroad where the sunshine meets the rain, you will almost always find a rainbow.

Life isn’t fair because it wasn’t meant to be.

We need both the sunshine and the storms of life because, just like the plants and trees, we need those things to help us grow.

Life isn’t fair—but that’s okay.

Because growth and rainbows both come from the storms.

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