Trying to make meaning out of pain, is very different from trying to find some inherent meaning in it.
As much as I’ve wanted to attribute some divine purpose to my particular challenges, I ultimately could not fathom that the forces in the universe were orchestrating elaborate schemes to encourage each of us to learn specific, painful lessons. It just seemed an unlikely cosmic scenario, not to mention a disempowering perspective. After all, if everything that happens is preordained, then we are merely victims of fate, largely helpless and at the mercy of some very callous “powers-that-be.” Well…that’s not too motivating!
Rather, it seems to me that there are opportunities to make meaning where we can’t make sense – whether through our relationships, creative expression, the stories we tell, the way we engage with the world, what we say and what we give. Then too, are those universal life lessons we can take away from any hardship:
- To be more aware of our inner workings, our words, our
actions–their source and their impact.
- To become more understanding and compassionate toward
ourselves and others.
- To become more deeply appreciative of the good we do have.
- To keep giving ourselves opportunities to grow, even when it
feels like a stretch.