Do you ever feel beaten down and battered by life?   Your soul is drained from the obstacles and suffering you’ve been through and some days you just don’t feel like you can carry on?   Or worse, you want everyone else to pay for your pain?

We typically respond to hard things and suffering with anger and we feel like something has been done TO us.  Our other response is to give up or isolate ourselves to avoid future pain.

The most important thing we need to understand is that not a single one of us has an easy life free of pain no matter what we may perceive.   Everyone has suffered many times in many ways.  None of us leave this world unscathed.

How do you respond to suffering?   Do you let it fester inside you and affect your daily life?   Do you get negative or bitter because of what you’ve been through?   Or do you put on a mask making it look like you have it all together and that everything is perfect?

What if we use suffering as fuel to strengthen us and keep us moving forward?  What if we decided that we will be stronger because of it and refuse to let it make us weaker? How about we search for how we can turn bad into good?

Have you ever noticed in elderly people that they are either really happy and joyful or they are bitter and angry?  Which do you want to be when you’re old?

No doubt you may have been through some REALLY traumatic and horrible things in your life.   It’s always amazing to me to hear people who were molested, endured cancer, the loss of a child or their entire family….they took that and made the best out of what’s left.   They say “I’m thankful I went through that because it made me look at life differently and it made me better.” Or “I was able to help others because of what happened to me.”

Instead of getting angry…what if we get determined?

Have you ever noticed when a huge tornado blows through a town and devastates it that afterwards the people talk about how everyone came together to help each other?  They are very emotional and moved by the hope in humanity they have experienced.

It brings strangers together.  Big scary events like that bring people together instead of dividing them.  That is how we are supposed to live each day!! But nowadays God needs to shake things up to get our attention and to move us outside of ourselves.

We should not be against each other but instead HELPING EACH OTHER!   We have lost sight of that.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Theresa

When I look back on my life there are so many people who have hurt me and things that have been done to me that I could hold on to and be angry about spending the rest of my life bitter and hateful.   But what good does that do? Think on that for a moment…WHAT GOOD DOES THAT DO???

My tendency used to be to isolate myself and hide from the world (pain avoidance).  If someone triggered something in me I’d get angry and even revengeful. If anyone hurt me I wanted them to hurt back.  Sometimes my reactions scared me! It can feel like there is another personality inside us that rears its ugly head at times.   Sound familiar?

We all wish for good in the world right?   Well, what if we choose to be what we want to see in the world?   We all want to feel loved, respected, and like we’re not alone. So why not treat others that way?   Why not put THAT out into the world?

Yes, we encounter some very difficult people.   But did you know the most difficult people are hurting inside and that is why they act the way they do?   They aren’t really out to get you…they are angry at their pain. They are HURTING. They don’t know how to heal.   They likely don’t even know where it’s all coming from…they are simply reacting to an emotion.

Don’t be discouraged if you put out kindness and love to someone and they don’t accept it well.   I’ve had people actually get mad when I smiled and said hi to them…AT CHURCH!!

Just know that we plant seeds when we put out kindness whether we get to see the outcome or not.   We don’t see what God is doing in them after we have done our part.  We have control over what WE do, not how others respond. Do things without needing a positive response.  It’s up to us to do our part and then God takes it from there.

When we let life steal our joy, we tend to take it out on everyone else.   The thing is the people we’re taking it out on had absolutely nothing to do with our pain!   Even if they did, why act like those who hurt you? Don’t let them rub off on you. Be better…do better.

Please dear soul…do NOT let the evil in this world steal your joy.   Don’t let it turn you into one of them. What we need now more than ever is to be GOOD HUMANS.

I carried my pain with me for a long time.   I buried it deep and didn’t deal with it.  You’ll notice that pain hides away in your heart and you develop triggers that make that pain resurface.  If someone does something that is a reminder of something painful to us, a lot of times we react in a really ugly way. I know, I’ve been there and I still deal with triggers.

I don’t know if the triggers will ever go away but the important thing is to become aware of them and where they are coming from.   We have to revisit our past pain, feel it completely, then move forward.  If you’re like me and you buried all your pain instead of feeling it and moving through it, you have a lot of thorns buried inside of you that will not go away until you do deal with it.

None of us want to revisit bad things from the past.   But we have to if we want to move forward. There are random moments when I’m alone and something will trigger past pain.  Now I cry it out, I get mad, whatever I need to feel and then the feelings slowly dissipate and I then investigate that experience to see what ways it changed me for the better or guided my life in a new direction.   Or I see how God did something to get me through it.

There is ALWAYS a purpose in our pain.

When you have eruptive moments or feelings that suddenly feel out of control you have to stop and ask yourself… “Why do I feel this way?”  “Where is this feeling coming from?” Go deep.  I do this every single time I am triggered and sometimes I need to take a time out to re-center myself.

Once you start identifying the things that are ruling your emotions and reactions, you can start learning to shift your focus and redirect those feelings.

As you take these action steps toward your healing, your path will start revealing itself through your heart, everything will start to shift.

I’ve been on a journey to find my place in this world for 7 years now.  I handed my life over to God and asked him to show me my path that he predestined for me.  My way was NOT working.

In these 7 years I have been in constant suffering in one form or another but I’ve also received incredible blessings and guidance through the suffering.   I am closer to God than I’ve ever been. I know him better than I ever have and I can wholeheartedly say that every bit of suffering in my life has brought me to where I am now and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. 

I can honestly say that I am thankful for the scars.

You might be thinking “Are you nuts???  How can you be thankful for suffering?” It’s not about the suffering but what the suffering has done to make you better and to reveal your purpose to you. 

Think of suffering as a time when God comes close to you.  He’s molding you and doing something in your life for a purpose.  Cling to him and stay close to him during these times.  We don’t always understand the why but God will reveal things to you in time.

We have been trained to avoid suffering at all costs.   If it comes we are looking for every single way to get out of it.  I encourage you to focus on what good you can bring out of the bad.  

Sometimes we can’t see anything or understand why we are going through what we are because our focus is on our suffering.   Keep looking, keep looking up, keep praying and seeking…you will find it.

The Bible says we will suffer.   It doesn’t say we’ll have a lovely happy life full of warm and fuzzies and cute little bunnies.   I’m not quite sure where we all got the idea that life would be easy?   When things are going well we praise God but when suffering comes we don’t like it one bit and starting asking WHY????

We’re all broken and we’ve all caused others pain because of our brokenness.  We live in a broken world after all. It’s inevitable.

Here’s the thing…if we are comfortable and happy, we get lazy.   We get complacent. We start to think highly of ourselves, we might treat others badly or stop caring.  We start living from the flesh and not the soul.

Suffering lets us experience pain.  It teaches us to relate to other’s pain.   It empowers us to help others and have empathy.   When we suffer we take action. We want out of suffering so we are going to do what we need to do to make it happen.

The sooner we connect with God to understand what he’s trying to do in our lives instead of focusing on ourselves, the sooner we will get out of our suffer-fest.

I’m so thankful for my childhood. It was hard and it was painful. But I can clearly see the purpose in it.   I have so much empathy towards other humans. I go out of my way to be kind and help others.   My pain has helped me to help so many others and make them not feel so alone.

If I had a happy loving family I may not have had empathy the way I do.   I’m drawn towards those who are awkward or mistreated because I understand and I want to help.

Every suffering you go through is a learning experience.   You HAVE to ask “What is this trying to teach me? NOT “Why is this happening TO me?”  

What if you realize suffering is a loving hand that’s come to make you better and to guide you on your future path?

I know it doesn’t feel loving at the time but I can honestly look back at things in my life and I can identify how they changed me.   I can see how they were the stepping stones leading me down my path. I am where I am today because of suffering which has pushed me to seek and learn.

There is a wonderful song out right now called “Scars” by I Am They.   Click HERE to see the song/video on YouTube.  I can never make it through this song without tearing up because I am truly thankful for every scar.   

I hope you can be thankful for the scars as well.

Much Love,

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