Why do we always expect life to be fair? I wish it was. I think most of us try our best to live a fair and honest life, but we can’t control what’s happening around us, can we?

As the mother of a son who has battled a substance use disorder for a decade, I can state unequivocally that life is not fair. No matter how much you love someone, you can’t guarantee them a perfect life. No matter how hard you work, you aren’t guaranteed wealth. And no matter how many times you strive to be a better person, you will not always be one.

So if life isn’t fair, how an we maneuver through the ups and downs? In my six decades I’ve learned a few things, and I still don’t really have the answers, but I do know this:

  1. Time is irreplaceable, once it’s gone, it’s gone, and you won’t get that moment back – so do your best to make the best of every minute.
  2. Love is blind. It makes us see and do things we normally wouldn’t see or do. Trust love, but trust your gut too.
  3. Truth is eternal. If something is true, it’s true now, it’s true in the future, and it’s always been true.
  4. Faith strengthens in ways nothing else can. Faith will get us through everything, if we embrace it and follow where it leads.
  5. Hope is life-saving. Without hope we lose track of our purpose here on earth and we lose our way.
  6. Courage is something we learn. As our experiences challenge us, we get stronger and gain the courage to face whatever comes.
  7. Family matters. Don’t every underestimate the power of a family’s unity, and don’t ever allow yourself to feel as if you don’t belong. Family is family.
  8. Choice, the right to choose, is a God-given and extremely valuable gift every human has. Never give up your right to choose. And never forget that your choices will always have consequences. Always.
  9. Honesty earns respect. Respect from yourself and respect from others. Honesty truly is the best policy. Honesty makes life easier, clearer, and more enjoyable.
  10. Loyalty is rare. Be careful who you trust, be careful who you spend time with, be careful who you share yourself with.

Life isn’t fair, but we can make it easier for ourselves by being good humans, by making the best of our time here on earth, but trusting in our higher power.

Life is worth fighting for. It takes courage, but it’s worth it.