Not so long ago, I had an uncomfortable but necessary conflict with a friend. She pushed away my attempt to reconcile with her afterward, saying, "I guess my life just isn't all rainbows and unicorns."
I went away with mixed feelings. I felt like she was trying to get a dig in there, trying to tell me that I was out of touch and privileged. For one, my life definitely hasn't always been wonderful. I've had my own private struggles and hardships. But then I started thinking about rainbows and unicorns and I came up with some realizations.
What are rainbows, anyway? They're a rare and beautiful phenomenon. They are fleeting and precious. And they only happen after the rain.
If, like me, you've heard the old bible story about Noah's Ark, you also know that rainbows are a symbol of judgement held back, and a promise of hope for the future, particularly after a difficult time.
During my most painful circumstances, I saw three rainbows in the space of a week. It could have been a coincidence, but I took it as a sign.
Then there are unicorns. Even in myth they're said to be rare and precious, only revealing themselves to the pure of heart, and magically able to heal. But you have to look for them. They don't just hang around in plain sight.
So why spend time looking for the rare and beautiful in this often brutal world? Why keep room for hope and healing when everything looks dark? Because, my friends, as Brian Tracy said, "You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."
My friends, I'm going to keep holding out for hope and healing, and I invite you to join me. I'm going to keep looking for rainbows and unicorns.
Erin Hatton is a mom of 4, fiction author, and family support worker at Redwood Park Communities.