There might be things from your past that you would rather never discuss. These bring pain even just thinking about it. Or you could be going through a tough situation right now and you are trying to find the meaning behind the suffering. While I am in a better place now, there are huge chunks of my early to mid-thirties that I would happily delete from my existence. That said, I would not be where I am today without the lessons I learnt through those tough seasons.
It’s easy to say throw around inspirational lines to someone who’s going through a tough situation. You can do it, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, man up, blah blah blah. When you are in the midst of it, it’s not always easy to have a full perspective. Normally, the lessons tend to come up after. I remember in my toughest times praying to God saying “This is so much and why me. I just hope that out of the ashes of my pain, a beautiful garden may grow one day”.
Thankfully, the last couple of years have been great. I’ve made a lot of drastic changes in my life which have brought me lots of peace and happiness. I’ve also had time to reflect on the tough times and deal with the emotional aftermath. It turns out that opening old wounds hurts a lot but you also get to finally heal for good. Sure’ you’ll have the scars but it won’t hurt as much in the future. I started blogging as a way to share my life lessons in the hope that others don’t have to go through the same pain.
So how do you use your pain to help others? I believe that before you can pour onto others, you have to first pour onto yourself. In short, you need to heal first. Healing is one of those “how long is a piece of string” dilemmas. It could happen in an instance or take years. While time is a healer, I’m a big believer in taking a proactive approach towards your healing journey. For me, it’s meant therapy, lots of reading books, podcasts, short courses, meditation, prayer, affirmation and lots of perspective. I’m not qualified to tell you how best to heal but what I can empathise is that you need to take a proactive approach to your healing.
Once you’ve had a reasonable level of healing comes perspective and extracting the lessons. What started the situation? How did you solve the problem? What will you do to stop or mitigate the problem in future? What have the experiences taught you? The lessons learnt is what you’ll be able to pass onto others and help yourself in future. Take time to reflect and most importantly write them down.
Now that you’ve healed and have extracted the lessons. The next thing is to decide how you want to use this to help others if at all this is something you want. Could it be in a public forum like this blog, a book, a presentation or something you hold dear to your heart and pass on during private conversations? You’ll feel tempted to keep this information to yourself as sometimes we tend to discount our story. Today I saw a quote from Lisa Bilyeu that this up nicely “One day you’ll tell a story of how you’ve overcome what you are going through now. And it will become someone else’s survival guide”