“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”~
When I was in my 20’s, I found a TED video called “Why do we do what we do” by Tony Robbins and it made me realize that it was a question that I’ve been asking myself subconsciously all my life. Why was I destroying my life in the ways I was doing at the time?
For the past 8 years, I’ve been continuously trying to answer that question, reading self-improvement books and trying to make myself better. I kept looking for a way to change my ways and myself, but nothing seemed to work. I kept coming back to what I was used to, to what made me comfortable. And for me it was gambling, for some, it might be watching TV, abusing alcohol, doing drugs or any other thousands of activities that allow us all to not feel the pain that is creeping inside us.
Learning to Experience Life as a Gift
We’d do anything to escape that pain, and most of those activities are damaging to our bodies, our relationships and especially our confidence. One day, something snapped, and I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.
My life had no meaning whatsoever and I couldn’t see the point. It was one of those feelings of helplessness in which I just wanted to wait for my death because everything was pointless. Fast forward a few months and everything is different, I am different and most importantly, I now realize that pain was the greatest gift I ever got. And before you say that I am crazy, give me a second to explain. All those years I was trying to change things that I thought were so wrong with me without trying to fix anything.
Imagine that our push towards whatever we’re looking for in life: happiness, success, wealth, great relationships and so on is our gas pedal, and our fears, guilt, anxieties, and self-doubt are the break. The way most people experience life is pressing hard on both.
All those years I kept trying to press more on the gas pedal, but it quickly became exhausting and I would soon quit. But my pain, that nerve-wracking all-destroying pain that I had experienced made me look deep inside myself and I then realized that with those breaks on, I would never get far. Now without saying that I will be going anywhere far in life, I am happy. And truth be told, that’s all that matters now.
Tomorrow may never come, yesterday is gone, so all we have is right now, or so goes the saying. Everyone and I mean everyone, no matter how successful, good-looking, wealthy or famous goes through something like this. In fact, we go through that pain a few times in our lives and we really think that it’s over, that’s it.
We have no idea how strong we can be, no idea that whatever our creator put inside of us is stronger than we can possibly imagine, and that which we call the soul is, in fact, indestructible, which in turn makes us indestructible. Yes, our bodies can fail, our minds can fail, but our souls are there until they return to the source.
So, don’t be scared of your pain, see it as a gift.
Most people who succeed in life don’t have it easy, on the contrary. But instead of letting these experiences scar them, they use them as fuel to remind themselves just how strong a human being can be. When a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, is that painful? Probably, but something so beautiful emerges.
In a similar fashion, we need that pain to become our own versions of beauty. Don’t block it, because you really can’t. It’s there to transform you, so instead of fighting it, try to guide the way it’s changing you. In fact, someone said to me one day that she does not believe in change.
Well, change is everywhere. The car that you are driving to work used to be a piece of raw mineral inside a cave somewhere underground, the diamond on your engagement ring took thousands of years to be just what it is now.
The world is a continuous change, but change is not what we’re after. We want growth, we want to evolve just like the caterpillar. And for that, there’s nothing that we can use better than our own pain.