I love when a fortune cookie delivers profound messages at the exact right time. The other day while sitting at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant I received this message, “Courage comes through suffering”. I immediately thought, oh fuck. A message of truth, yes, but not a message I want as my fortune.
As I sat in quiet thought staring at the fortune I was reminded of my suffering over the years: being born deaf, growing up with significant health challenges, an abusive relationship, family cancer and bankruptcy just to name a few. Suffering is not foreign to my life, and if I’ve learned one thing from teaching lessons on suffering it’s that the master teacher is always the master student. I have also learned that suffering is a universal right of passage through life. No one goes untouched, and we all have a story of suffering that has transformed our lives.
It’s in our suffering that we experience moments of vulnerability that allow us to be shaped into a better human being–preparing us to reach our highest potential. Suffering has the power to unite people of difference, elevate compassion and multiply kindness shown throughout the world. It not only provides great courage it’s an igniter of great change.
The beauty of suffering is that it doesn’t just provide us courage it gives us an opportunity to find it within ourselves. For this reason I welcome it into my life with ease and grace. I don’t always like it, but I am learning to be thankful for its presence because without suffering I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Author, speaker & coach, Gina Soleil is acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a life where you’re energized, feel good and happy! Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.