Fulfilling Your Dreams
Rules For Life – Everything is a Blessing (Part Two)
by Ken La Salle
Welcome back to my continuing series of Rules For Life.
When I wrote last month about everything being a blessing, I had no idea about the terrible news waiting for me just around the corner. The news was another blow to my career, a career in writing that has had its share of hard knocks, believe me.
After receiving this news, I honestly felt lost for several days, because I didn’t want to be a burden to my wife or my friends or my family. When you’re in a position like mine, a position that requires me to ask people on nearly a daily basis to invest in my books or recordings, the last thing you would want to do—certainly the last thing I wanted to do—was ask anyone for any more help.
And so, I chose to take the road I have so often taken: the lonely road. And, for days, I kept things to myself, letting my despair over my career setback build. After a while, I believed anything would be better than to feel this despair, even ending my career. Contemplating the end of my career, I realized that there weren’t a lot of options waiting for me on the other side. Being a writer has been a lifelong dream; how could I start over again after giving it up?
Less than a month before, I had been trying to embrace the idea that everything is a blessing; and now I found that I had lost all hope. Depression sat down on my chest and made itself at home. And I knew my options were gone. I couldn’t see any way out.
Fortunately, I allowed myself one course of action. I nearly didn’t because I felt certain that no one would understand how I felt. No one had ever felt this or could ever sympathize with this terrible burden I carried. I gathered all of my courage and asked a few of my friends if they could possibly give me just a little advice. I didn’t want help—I wouldn’t ask them for that—but any advice would be welcome.
Almost immediately, I found offers of help where I thought I would have none. Though it was modest, it was not inconsiderable and it was enough to help me realize that I wasn’t alone in despair. My burden wasn’t so great that no one could understand it.
And the ironic part was that my despair actually became a blessing. It was my despair that forced me to reach out to others, something that is so often very difficult to do these days. We focus so much on social media and, yet, find ourselves more isolated than ever. And that isolation can reinforce our own feelings of inadequacy. It’s only when we actually reach out and connect with others that we realize we’re not alone and that other people in our lives do care about us.
Sometime in your life, you are going to despair. Depression will take you and fear will shake you in its fist. The most difficult thing for us to during those times is the one thing we absolutely must do, which is to reach out to someone else. In doing so, we learn that we aren’t as alone as we thought and that there are people out there who care. Even if it’s only a few, that’s all you need.
That’s what my despair taught me. That’s the blessing it provided—that I’m not alone and that there are others who care. Knowing this made it possible for me to face the challenges of my career once again and find the courage to move forward.
When I wrote just a month ago that I didn’t know what it meant to say that everything is a blessing, I had no way of knowing how quickly that understanding would come to me. By itself, my despair was not a blessing. It’s when we find the courage to face our fears and challenges when we find the real blessings they hide.
About the Author
Author and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com.