Suffering: The Reality of How it Makes Us Stronger!

If you are a 'Nerd' like me, you may recognise this as the Female Commander Shepher from the 'Mass Effect' game franchise.  It's full of extreme decisions that when played well, make you as a person and help the lives of others around you.  Sounds a bit too much life real life to me!

If you are a ‘Nerd’ like me, you may recognise this as the Female Commander Shepher from the ‘Mass Effect’ game franchise. It’s full of extreme decisions that when played well, make you as a person and help the lives of others around you. Sounds a bit too much life real life to me!

Many would say I am cursed, few would say I am lucky – and over the years I am probably starting to think more of the latter rather than the former.  Many friends, colleagues and people I know are aware I have been through lots of extreme traumas, situations and challenges in my life.

I am very blessed that when people are often facing extreme situations in life (be it marriages breaking up, sickness, even life & death) they often feel comfortable confiding in me.  It’s an honour and I think only one who has suffered personally, can really help those who have suffered.

There are a good portion of the population (of which I am a proud member) that have had many more than the usual challenging events happen in their lives.  Even though I may get on my soap box and play my violin every now and then – I know people who have had way more things happen to them in their lives.  Be it cancer, sickness, genetic conditions, borderline terminal illnesses and the like – somethings that I have been very blessed not to suffer from.

For me right now, business and life is going great – however, I did take a massive personal relational type of setback in my life. What happened to me strangely isn’t that important in my thinking, it’s more been dealing with the mental fallout, emotions and suffering as to what has happened to me.  Basically, the moment that setback happened to me – I was very numb and totally taken by surprise.

One thing I did think and even express at the moment was putting on my own “Christian Hat” (which I find situations forcing me to do this more lately) and immediately realizing this is an important thing for me.  Sure it was painful, the first two days were very difficult – but I kept pumping out the work and doing whatever I had to do.

As my life is rocking and other areas are going great, I decided to really stop, take pace in life and look at things from probably a more of a Spiritual Viewpoint.  Like many others, I have suffered lots in my life and I have seen suffering either take people in two different directions:

– They become bitter, twisted, negative, shut-down or let it destroy their lives.

– They become inspirational leaders and become happier than before “the incident”.

For me, I certainly like to think I am in the second option and I was speaking to a friend about this today.  The reality is that all of us (granted some more than others) have big challenges / injustices / bad things come our way.  They can really shock the system and one can spend lots of time why it has happened to them.

There are lots of spiritual viewpoints of why “Good Things Happen to Bad People”.  In my own research on this blog article, there are views from “God does it deliberately to build you” to “It’s all just random and it’s what you make of it” with everything else in between.  I think no one can come up with a single answer to this one.

BUT I think looking at it from a practical viewpoint, the choice is much more simple:

– Bad Thing Happened.  Do you want your life to SUCK or BE AWESOME?

As I spoke to my friend about this topic today, many people seem to choose “The SUCK” option. The cases I have seen have come from someone just blaming someone and not wanting to move on.  Right / Wrong / Victim thinking can really ruin your life for good (believe me on this one, I have been there!).

“The AWESOME” option comes from people moving on from the events and trying to gleam some kind of positive experience out of often horrible opportunities.  It may be helping people overcome what they went through, making themselves sharper & more intelligent to get what they want next time, or even looking at the suffering as a good thing.

Many different faiths often take the view that “Suffering brings you closer to God if you align your experiences the right way”.

I hate to say this, but I think it’s true.  Some of my most spiritual / godly moments / epiphany’s have come from being dumped, homeless, being ripped off, being beaten up, left for dead, watching friends die in front of me and recovering in hospital for weeks from near mortal wounds.

There is absolutely no way I would have the insight, understanding or be able to help people without being through what I have been through.  I remember I once used to have the view of “Oh no suffering is bad and I want everything to be positive”.  I used to be very depressed in those days and really have a lot of serious mindset type of problems.

My own comfort and my drive to be “Comfortable” led to some of my greatest darkest moments of depression, hopelessness and anxiety.

Before what happened to me happened to me, I was already thinking that I don’t want to be “Comfortable”. It’s when I am too comfortable I become weak and when I suffer it makes me stronger and brings me closer to God.

My own experiences lately have only reinforced that lesson more.  When you no longer fear suffering and see it as a “Positive Experience” in terms of the outcome I can promise you it makes life just that bit more awesome and easier….

If you are happy / not suffering right now – Awesome! I pray it stays that way for you for at least a short while. If you are suffering right now, all I can say is that it’s your chance to make it stronger and help you build your life.

Living in my car for 3 weeks, was the hardest – yet most awakening 3 weeks of my whole life….

Love your work and thank you for the read!

P.S. This article is dedicated to a woman who I have a great amount of respect for but shall remain anonymous.  Ain’t that right AS? x x