Episode 223: Bitter or Better
Rumi said, “The wound is the place the light enters you.”
I love this gorgeous truth, the poetry of it, the truth in it, the hope of it.
In our times of suffering and trial it is often hard to see the purpose. Instead it’s the “why me?’ It’s the visceral jerking away from pain, it’s the scream. But if we realize that this too shall pass, and in its wake will be strength and color we don’t yet understand, we can hold to hope.
Join me today for insight from a war hostage, a woman who was hit by a car and had her leg paralyzed, and from a man who recovered from a truly traumatic childhood into an engineer of lives, too see how the wound is the place that the light enters you, and the importance of trusting the process.
I want to start with 4 truths today:
- You can’t get past the past until you accept it.
- The process of growth is pushing past one wall after another, and often those walls are painful.
- Failure is feedback. It teaches us what not to do.
- Don’t stare at the error too long. Move past it, move along and use the information.
- Create a supportive story to go along with the learning: Which story is better?
A. I was treated unfairly and I feel shame about not being enough, or not succeeding as I expected, or God is unjust and cruel, or life is a bitch and then you die, or …
B. I learned _____________. I trust there is a reason for this experience.
I was listening to Oprah’s Interview, on her podcast Super Soul, with Elizabeth Gilbert. I have to say i was really impressed with Elizabeth and how centered she was. So calm, and the attitude was incredible. Let me tell you why –
Oprah was commenting on the the space in Elizabeth’s life – She’s the one that wrote “Eat, Love, Pray” – when she left her husband and got news that her best friend had a lethal cancer, and she discovered in that moment that she actually was in love with her best friend. She went to her bedside to walk the path of death with her, which was heart wrenching on multiple levels, but the mindset that Elizabeth had was just inspiring. She said, “I came here to live a life fully, so I will take all of it. I came here to do this, I want the whole ride.” She said, “Even in the worst moments I knew this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.”
In the worst times she looks at, “What am I being asked to learn or do right now?” “Why is this being offered to me in this amount of pain?”
Her willingness to feel deeply, to feel the whole range and depth of emotions that living provides for us was so brave. So advanced.
Most of us shy away from pain. We don’t want that range of emotions – I do for sure, but listening to her courage at facing all there was to get out of the experience of living, I was just impressed. I wanted to follow her around and become her disciple.
Something else I really got out of this was that she didn’t try to blame the hard times on God, or question her own worthiness because of her struggle, she simply accepted it as the process of living, and granted herself huge amounts of mercy. No shame in the process of —-I landed here in the wrong marriage or the wrong job, or here we go again, or ..… She says, Go to mercy for yourself, not to shame or judgement, and keep doing your best.
She pointed out that we don’t have to know how to get through a thing, but you square your shoulders and you walk through it. You are good enough. YOU CAN DO IT.
I can’t say I have ever heard a braver approach to living – to be able to honestly embrace the whole emotional spectrum as an experiential learning space.
I’m going to share 3 clips from 3 people who have learned, through their own struggle, that the dark days hold gifts.
Tune into the audio program to hear from:
Episode 218 – Rusty Lindquist: Life Engineered
Sister Susan H. Porter, First Councilor in the Primary General Presidency in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said, “God’s love is not found in the circumstances of our lives but in His presence in our lives.”
It seems a common mindset to believe that if I am living right that bad things shouldn’t happen to me….my brother felt that deeply and it unmoored him when real life happened.
It’s clear that God lets us go through hard things, but that if we call on him and pay attention, if we allow him to walk with us there will be support, comfort, added strength, and a turning of the events of our lives for our best. God can orchestrate a great deal of good from what appears to be a pile of bad.
- Episode 83 – Wendy Garrett – Life is Tough, but I am Tougher
Wendy Garrett was a gymnast. She was struck by an automobile and one of her legs was paralyzed. While her gymnastics career was over, this led her to a different life of running marathons all over the world. Why is she glad this happened to her?
3. Episode 160 – Jo Marie Taylor: How being a hostage set her free.
On 2 August 1990 at 2:00 am, local time, Iraq launched an invasion of Kuwait with four elite Iraqi Republican Guard Division and Iraqi Army Special Forces. The main thrust was conducted by the commandos deployed by helicopters and boats to attack Kuwait City while the other divisions seized the airports and two airbases. Kuwait didn’t stand for long and the Iraqi invasion quickly turned into a take-over. JoMarie Taylor, an American, was visiting Kuwait with her Kuwaiti husband found herself a hostage in the country, hiding and navigating the fear and daily threat of death; watching the destruction, rape, murder and mayhem of the invasion – all this challenged the way she thought about life, but what it taught her was to Trust the process. There is a purpose to our sufferings and sometimes it takes a long time to see, but when the tapestry is turned over, the design will be beautiful.
From these three interviews I’m hearing – 1. Sometimes things need to happen the way they happen 2. We can’t always see the big picture but God can turn our struggles for our good, and believing in that can give us the ability to trust the process until we do see it. 3. Accepting our stories and choosing to let them make us better rather than bitter is a choice we are in control of.
Thanks for being here today. Remember that you can find more wonderful episodes on loveyourstorypodcast.com, you can buy your Love Your Story-shirt or get your copy of LIFE – Living Intentional and Fearless Everyday on the website.
I’d sure appreciate your reviews and hearing from you. See you in two weeks for the next episode.