This is one of the many posters up in Bantry Community College, Ireland to mark Wellness Week which takes place in the school all this week

‘Sometimes it may be an illness that becomes our new teacher or bereavement or the birth of a child or falling in love. Anything that shakes us out of our slumber and opens us to wider and deeper experience is a spiritual friend worthy of our gratitude.’ ~Donagh O’Shea

It is easy to be complacent and take much for granted all around us. It is often an unexpected crisis or an unforeseen event that can knock us out of the complacency we had fallen into. Each day presents us with new possibilities and opportunities. We do our best to make the most of them as they come. But some days can be hugely challenging to the point where it’s a struggle to cope. We might not see such days as a friend. It is even tempting to push them to one side in the hope that tomorrow will be better. It is tempting to blame those around us particularly our nearest and dearest. It is even tempting to blame ourselves.

Spiritual wisdom encourages us to gently hold these days because we learn and grow from them. This is very different to saying it is good to remain stuck in difficult days. Nobody wants to remain in a situation that is difficult or stressful. But in the difficulty, the darkness or the waiting we are opened to a wider and deeper experience. It is in this place that we can sometimes learn more about ourselves and others. When we hit difficult and tough days we move deeper and we ask God for the strength, courage and hope to rise above them.

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