Those things that hurt, instruct

Those things that hurt, instruct. 

Words spoken by Benjamin Franklin–and coming from the guy who discovered electricity– I’m pretty sure he knows a thing or two about the concept.

Let’s go fly a kite and send it soar-ing!

Up through the atmosphere, up where the air is clear.

Yes! Let’s… go… fly a kite!


Those things that hurt, instruct.

Problems create our courage and widsom

“Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.”  -From The Road Less Traveled 

I remember a particular lecture in graduate school. We were discussing social policy and the concept that, in some countries, every citizen has the right to a comfortable life in which they are provided for by their government from cradle to grave. Health care? Provided. A guaranteed job that offers a living wage? Provided. Guaranteed affordable housing? Provided. Year long maternity/paternity leave? Provided. Government sponsored child care and continuing education? Provided.

It sounded like a dream come true. The citizens could just…relax. Relax and enjoy their lives, knowing that all their basic needs would be met. Women no longer felt compelled to marry in order to have children or raise a family. They could provide for themselves and their children on their own, so the marriage rate had significantly decreased. I remember watching a video clip, showing peaceful citizens brunching at a cute cafe, contently living out their eighty years in anxiety-free bliss.

But looks can be deceiving.

In that same video, we learned that this country-the name of which escapes me now-reports extremely high rates of suicide and drug use among its citizens. This relaxed, peaceful, well-provided for bunch were drugging themselves into oblivion, for what possible reason?

How can people who have a golden ticket through life behave in ways typically reserved for only the most desperate? Drug use, suicide, escapism is usually seen among those of us in truly dire circumstances: poverty, violence, hopelessness, no way out. Desperation.

Why would they want to escape…brunch?

When we want for nothing, we literally want nothing. 

Those things that hurt, instruct. 

The entire reason we incarnate into physical form is for the evolution of our soul. The lessons we are here to learn will follow us from one life to the next until we are finally, finally, ready to look them in the eye, stare them down, and learn them already.

And often times, those lessons are hard. They make us stretch who we are to become who we’re meant to be.

Growth is uncomfortable. And that growth, that discomfort, often accompanies discovering our life’s purpose.

When everything is handed to us, when we want for nothing, we literally want nothing.

Having a need is what compels us to do, to make, to create, to invent…

Our passion is what inspires us to do something. Our love for what we do keeps us doing it.

And unfortunately, our passion is not usually discovered while comfortably eating brunch.

It’s usually discovered by entering a hotbox of the soul and evolving there for a while.

Purpose *might* be a form of obsession and that’s okay. 

Those of us who have an insatiable propensity to do certain things are normally compelled by a larger WHY.

Child advocates were once children who needed an advocate.

Domestic violence advocates were once abused women themselves.

Drug and alcohol counselors have often battled their own addictions and won, and now want to teach others how to do the same.

Our larger WHY is usually uncovered by going through our own dark night of the soul, struggling to survive it, and then coming out on the other side beaten and weary, but changed. Stronger. Braver. More wise.

Changed for the better. Changed in a way that we couldn’t have been unless we had fought the hard battle and won.

Those things that hurt, instruct. 

We become teachers when we learn by doing. Only then, can we teach the “how” to someone else.

What is your purpose? 

What test have you been through, what life-changing, soul-evolving event have you experienced that you feel compelled to share?

So that other people, in their own darkest moments, can know they are not alone?

THAT is your life’s purpose. That is your larger WHY. That is the information you are here to share.

And I’ll bet it didn’t happen at brunch.


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