Eventually, after years of fighting, I started to claw my way out.
I started to find light on the other side of the darkness.
I realized that there was another path I could take. What is amazing about terrible events is that they have a way of remolding your perspective. You have to know evil to see goodness. You have to feel pain to develop empathy. What’s paradoxical is actually the greatest teacher.
And my heart surgery and ensuing mental illnesses taught me so much. They taught me that I’m stronger than I realized. And they taught me something even more important. Even the worst events can be used for good. They can become the best events.
Because something happens when you move through adversity. You emerge on the other side stronger than before. You realize that you actually now are in a better position than you were prior. You have something you didn’t have before. You have wisdom, and you have strength. And with this newfound wisdom comes the opportunity to teach others what you know.
There is a reason that the world’s greatest healers know immense amounts of suffering. Great healers like Thich Nhat Hanh
have been through great horrors. That’s why calmness and compassion now fills them.
So this, my friend, is path number two.
You don’t have to be consumed by the events that happen to you. Over time, and with lots of hard work, there is another way you can go. You can use what happened to you to act as a beacon of hope for others. When you take on great weight and you carry it, others will admire your strength. More importantly, they will begin to see themselves in you. They will feel inspired to adjust their burden, improve their vision, and move swiftly forward to new heights.
It’s all about the path you take.
One way leads to feeling increasingly victimized.
The other way is, no doubt, the more difficult path, but surprisingly enough, it’s the path with more weight–but less burden.