Here are a few of the treasured insights I have received on the other side life’s tribulations. I hope they renew your strength, affirm that you are not alone, and shed a hopeful light on your dark moments.
Pain strengthens you.
In order to build a muscle we lift the weight. But first there is a breaking and bleeding of the capillaries. The healing of the wound is what develops the muscle; injury precedes strength.
Pain refines you.
It takes pressure to make a diamond and fire to purify gold. Nothing cleanses the soul like a good cry. Tears wash away the impurities of fear and attachment and clear the channels for love to freely flow.
Pain lightens the load.
Growing up my mother would often say, “When you are down to nothing, life is up to something.”
Navigating painful moments can feel like squeezing yourself through a tight corridor. There is no room for excess baggage. At the peak of agony I have learned to let go of the “stuff” in my hands—my stories, my fears, my judgments—in order to hold on for dear life.
Pain qualifies you.
Nothing qualifies a person to step up to a big vision for their life like pain. When I count the cost of the rejection and disappointments endured on the journey to living my dreams, it creates a worthiness and grounded resolve that my toughest critics cannot chip away.
Pain connects you.
One tragedy unites people in a far deeper way than a thousand moments of laughter. Falling apart independently and collectively healing has launched powerful, life-changing movements like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.). Pain becomes purpose when it is shared.
Like the peaks and falls on a heart monitor, the valley low moments are just as much a confirmation of life as the mountain highs. Lean into pain’s sting. Allow yourself to be placed on its potter’s wheel and transformed into all you can ever hope to be and more.
Remember, life is never happening to you, it is always happening for you. Always