The nicest people have always been through so much...
People who have been hurt their whole lives want nothing more than to live in happiness and joy. These amazing survivors have learned to see the light in the world because they have also seen the darkness.
If you've ever tried holding your breath for a minute, you know there is nothing more precious than taking in that first breath. In the same way, if you've lived a hard and painful life, you find the greatest reward in being kind. You learn to give the compassion that you've always longed for.
I grew up in a tough environment. My dad and I had a strained relationship, and my mom was always trying to fix her marriage. As I grew older, I realized that I just wanted people to feel good. I wanted people to experience a different reality than I did growing up. I wanted to smile at people as they walked by, and I wanted to hug those people that mattered in my life.
I learned to show loving kindness because it made me feel good to make others feel good.
Contained within the giving, was the precious gift of receiving.
The best partners in the world can be those who have experienced trauma and abuse because they have worked through everything to become better people. When you have physical disabilities to overcome, you learn to exercise those muscles the most.
People like myself who have had to overcome emotional hardships have learned to be stronger and more resilient. Like plants that grow through the concrete sidewalk, we've persevered and broken through adversity as we've learned to survive and thrive, against all odds.
If you're experiencing any difficulty right now, maybe in your family or a struggling relationship, know that you are being strengthened by this experience.
You will learn to rise above the difficulty and grow in ways that you would have never thought possible. Without challenge there can never be triumph.
I remember the first time I tried to run a mile. It was my 17th birthday and I vowed that I was going to start trying to get in shape that year. I was sweating and panting so hard I thought I was going to faint, but I kept at it. Day after day, I learned to grow stronger and by the end of one month, that mile felt like a block.
It's the same idea when you're thrown a curve ball in life. Everyone has something that knocks them down and challenges them — maybe your dad walked out when you were seven, or maybe you lost a sibling at a young age. These challenges are what make you strong in the long run so you can be that support for your family and for yourself.
My friend Nancy Levin, the author of Jump and Your Life Will Appear, lost her brother at a young age. When she realized that her parents were mourning this monumental loss, she grew stronger than she had been before. She learned to be a powerful woman who now changes the lives of thousands with her powerful books and her work as a keynote speaker.
Her ability to overcome the odds made her a force to be reckoned with, a compassionate leader, and a loyal friend.
If you've been through the trenches — if you know the struggle — you can learn to empathize with those who are going through their own challenges along with you. Loss, grief and pain are always going to be a very real part of this earthly journey, but with the strength and wisdom of those who have gone before, we learn to treasure the joy of living another day.
If you are burdened with having lived a life of pain and struggle, then you are lucky enough to know how good it feels to live a life of joy and freedom. You embody the power to be kind, loving and strong!
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