This tough time is just a chapter; it’s not the whole story.



Little Buster the dog

Little Buster

You know how easy it is, when you’re going through a tough time, to feel like this is what your life will be like forever and ever?

You know how hard it is to offer solace to a friend who is going through tough times, and you secretly feel hopeless for them? Their problem seems intractable even to you?

Those are the times to remind ourselves:

“This tough time is just a chapter; it’s not the whole story.”

Whether it’s a novel or a movie, the story always includes hard times (or else the movie or book would be pretty boring).

But those difficult chapters or scenes in the movie aren’t the totality. They’re just part of the story.

I’ve been reminded of this a lot lately with my volunteer work at the animal shelter in Kennebunk, Maine, where I walk (or run) dogs.

Often I’ll see a dog who was just brought in, looking scared and lonely, huddled in a corner of their kennel or outdoor pen, and my heart will break.

 I feel that way especially for the little dogs, like Buster, who just quivered with fear when I first saw him in an outside pen. The next time I saw him and went into the pen,  he snuggled close to me, looking for comfort and safety. I could only imagine how scary it must be for such a little pipsqueak like him being surrounded by big, barking dogs.

Cassius the shelter dog


 Other times, I’ll see a dog who has been there for many weeks—like my old buddy Cassius, a 10 year old hound– and I feel sad about their plight, especially if it’s an older dog like Cassius that I doubt someone will want to adopt.And then, when I notice that dog’s cage is empty and discover that they have a new home, it reminds me that this scary, sad time in their life was only temporary.

It was just a chapter in the book of their life.

 It wasn’t the whole book.

The same is true for you and me.

So…if you’re going through a tough time or a friend is, remember that simple truth.

Better still, remember other tough times you endured that you wondered if they would ever end…and they did. They will provide you with unequivocal proof from your OWN experience that tough times are just a chapter in the story of your life. They’re not the whole book.

Oh…BTW…old Cassius just got adopted last weekend. I am sooo happy for him.

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