That that was just the way it was.
That to struggle and to strive was what we were made for, that that was what 'real' life was.
I found myself naturally choosing the more difficult path, embracing the unknown, welcoming challenges. It led to a fabulous life full of adventure and spontaneity; full of international experiences, interesting people, challenging job descriptions. But not a lot of joy. That was for other people. I was too busy being serious, and 'challenged' - that, I thought, was my nature, so that was the way I liked it, because if that was the way life (and I) was, I might as well do my best to enjoy it.
But what I've realised recently is that's not my nature. That's something I thought life was. That's something I thought I was.
Life is in fact anything you want it to be, and our true nature, our True nature - all of us - is not defined. We're not destined to be sad, or happy or serious or burdened, long term unless we choose to be. Waking up to this fact, that I too, can experience joy and peace in my heart as much as the next person, that I'm not doomed to struggle, just because 'that's the way' I am ('that's just my nature'), has been immense.
This surety, strangely, came out of losing our first child. Having everything thrown up in the air at once freed me of definitions, boundaries, habits, and in that space of emptiness, there was love, lots of love, there was humour and there was a peaceful joy.
Back then I didn't know what I was experiencing was in fact what everyone experiences when they come to see how our experience as human beings is created moment to moment to moment by our thinking.
We are not responsible for the thoughts which rise up in us (they come from whatever life force courses through all of us and keeps our hearts beating and the bees making honey), but we are responsible for, or at least 'in charge of', what we do with those thoughts - whether we invite them in for tea, sit down with them and have a lengthy chat, or if we let them flow on down the river and stay open to a new thought arising.
We can use our own free will to decide what we do with the thoughts which arise within us. And what you find when you don't invite the less enjoyable thoughts in for tea, is that less enjoyable thoughts turn up at your door less and less frequently, and certainly when they do come knocking, they move on by much quicker, thus allowing space for more enjoyable, more peace-filled thoughts to arise.
That joy-filled, ease-filled, peace-filled space I found during the aftermath of losing our daughter is a space I'm able to return to more and more now I understand something about the principles behind our human experience.
And when I live life from that space, conduct my relationships from there, make decisions from there, connect with my children from there, life is easy and life is fun.