Challenges are daunting. They turn us inside out, wring us dry, and fling us back to shore, trembling and exhausted.
And yet, for all the chaos and pain, they leave us with pearls of great joy when they’re over.
We grow through pain, and when we’re in pain for a long time, if we get conscious about it, we turn our mess into our message and transform the grotesque into life lessons.
It’s about your lens and your mind-set, how what you believe influences what you feel, and what you feel influences how you act or react in your circumstances.
Sometimes challenges come to strip you bare and excise all the baggage weighing you down, to open your eyes and shine a light on what’s keeping you stuck, hurt, and gnarly.
Maybe it’s a toxic emotional habit you need to release, a poisonous grudge you need to forgive, or an environment you need to exit ASAP.
From my experience, every challenge has come with a life lesson to learn and specific actions to take for the lesson to stick.
The more you ignore a particular lesson, the more it loops back in your life, getting louder and more intense until you finally pay attention to and act on it.
When you embrace your challenges, they become rocket fuel for your growth and strength.
What feels unbearable and awful in the moment becomes beautiful months, years, or even decades after the event.
The experience itself may forever be horrific, but the insights from it will add to the beauty in your life and the lives of those you share them with.
Why? Because either they’ve been where you were, or they know someone who’s been there, and your story has meaning to them.
Things happen to teach us what we need to know to grow, to love harder, to dig deeper for our truth and plant more beauty in our lives.
Crises are crucibles to purify and strengthen our souls.
It’s vital to turn our challenges into rocket fuel for our growth so we don’t get stuck in the pain without doing something constructive with it.
It’s so easy to sink into the mire and the apathy of hopelessness, but that only makes us bitter, hard, and poisonous.
We can’t afford to get locked into the negativity or trauma within us, nor can we succumb to the insidious lie that we will never be whole or free again.
Rising above a challenge or intensely traumatic event is the only way to emerge whole from experiences that would shatter us into pieces otherwise.
It’s why we go to therapy, nurture our spirituality, and draw closer to God, because we realise we cannot do it on our own and we must, we must be healed, whole, and fully alive.
It’s why we get the help we need to move forward and exit the shadowlands, the wilderness that sucks us dry, so we can journey forth into our Promised Land and flourish there.
When we get the help we need to rise and put in our earnest effort, we make room for the transformations that need to happen for our joy to emerge from the crucible we’re in.
We seize the chance for something greater, something brighter to emerge from the ashes, and we grow into that greatness, that brightness, by showing up to learn from it.
We overcome by faith and the actions based on that faith.
We overcome by holding on and knowing that joy is on the other side.
We overcome when we reach our joy because we’ve processed and grown through the pain and darkness.
We overcome because we rise.
Challenges are inevitable. Use them as rocket fuel for your growth and stepping stones to your joy.
Get the help you need to move through the bitter pain and darkness into sweet joy and light.
Refuse to stay stuck in what you’re going through—gird your loins and rise, rise, rise into a brighter day.
May you have the grace to rise.
Image credit: SplitShire