Finding Purpose in Pain


I believe that there is a greater purpose to pain. I believe pain and suffering can be transcended -- transformed into something good. That we have a purpose in our lives, and our job is to discover that purpose, to align our lives with it. I believe that by following this energy and light, we move toward the wholeness we were made for.

I didn't always believe this. In fact, I spent many years living my life without any purpose. Although I had pursued success, something was missing. I didn't know what it was -- I didn't have words for it. But when you live a life without purpose, it is as if you are the walking dead. Every step and move you take feels empty, without a greater meaning behind it. And the time you spend with your loved ones is not savored or completely felt. Time simply passes.

Loss opened my eyes. It was as if a veil lifted, and I saw that life was about the unseen, not the seen. Suddenly, I could see and feel so much in a touch. Could see myself in other's eyes - the shopkeeper, the man at the corner. And I saw that it was never material things that I should have pursued. But instead, love.

Its unfortunate that it took such a severe failure in my life for the veil to be lifted. But the truth is that the whispers started much before that - something is missing they said. Something is not quite right. Life isn't meaningless as Brian says. But I guess this speaks to life being a balance. Not only of what is rational and seen, but what is intuitive and of the spirit. And I guess this is the nature of difficult times, of failure, of loss. They can be periods of immense growth. It is not the easy times that lead to growth, but the periods in which we are challenged and confronted with our very lives and nature.

Some days I still struggle with my purpose. I know that we each have one, but I struggle with knowing what mine is, struggle with trusting it. Since I was a kid, I've always felt it was to write. And now, after all those dark days, I feel even more so that writing is what gives me a greater purpose to my suffering - to bring connection and hope to others. 

And so as more time passes, it is with a new appreciation for my failures, my losses. For they have given way to so much more, have been the soil in which the fruit of the spirit has taken root. Its definetely not easy. But there is a beauty there in grace.

How do you find purpose in pain or difficult times?