Here are wise words from Eleanor Roosevelt in her book “You Learn By Living” that I have had to read over and over again throughout my 20s. To me, I definitely had moments that were such a confusing time because a lot of events happened and I just didn’t know why this was happening to me after already having to grow up with a lot of hardships. Below is an excerpt that I keep close to my heart as inspiration when days are tough. I hope this helps you too.
There is no experience from which you can’t learn something. When you stop learning you stop living in any vital and meaningful sense. And the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
You can only do that if you have curiosity, an unquenchable spirit of adventure. The experience can have meaning only if you understand it. You can understand it only if you have arrived at some knowledge of yourself, a knowledge-based on deliberately and usually painfully acquired self-discipline, which teaches you to cast out fear and frees you the fullest experience of the adventure of life.
Certainly, “the discipline of mind and body” is essential in meeting defeats and recovering from disaster. No matter how hard hit you are, you can face what has to be faced if you have learned to master your own fears.
A great deal of fear is a result of just “not knowing”. We do not know what is involved in a new situation. We do not know whether we can deal with it. The sooner we learn what it entails, the sooner we can dissolve our fear.
When you come to understand self-discipline, you begin to understand the limits of freedom. You grasp the fact that freedom is never absolute, that it must always be untamed within the framework of other people’s freedom.
If the capacity for relaxation is there, if you can attain the ability to create your own inner calm, you can get your relaxation as you go along, no matter how active you may be.
The most unhappy people in the world are those who face the days without knowing what to do with their time. But if you have more projects than you have time for, you are not going to be an unhappy person. This is as much a question of having imagination and curiosity as it is of actually making plans. Things will come to you if you have the interest in the first place.
The development of interests, while you are bringing up your children, is important to them, too. The wider their range of experience, the greater the variety of people they encounter in their home life, the farther their horizons will extend and the more hospitable to new ideas they will be as they go out into the world. And in a world like ours today, with new conditions, new concepts, new ideas confronting us at every turn, that is an essential and a vital part of education.
Each of us has all the time there is. Those years, weeks, hours, are the sands in the glass running swiftly away. To let them drift, through our fingers is tragic waste. To use them to the hilt, making them count for something, is the beginning of wisdom.
Life teaches you that you cannot attain real maturity until you are ready to accept this harsh knowledge, this limitation in yourself, and make the difficult adjustment. Either you must learn to allow someone else to meet the need, without bitterness or envy, and accept it; or somehow you must make yourself learn to meet it. If you refuse to accept the limitation in yourself, you will be unable to grow beyond this point.
It is a major part of maturity to accept not only your shortcomings, but those of the people you love, and help them not to fail when you can.