Choose how you see the waves of adversity and it will add to rather than diminish your greatness.

I believe — scratch that — I KNOW the challenges, wounds and hardships we witness do not occur by accident.

You may have heard this point of view before, rolled your eyes and went on with your day. But, please refrain from closing this post, and hear me out.

I know that nothing occurs by accident. I have been on both sides of this — both feeling victimized and in agony as well as empowered and at peace — I have played it out from both perspectives. And I needed to do this because experience is the most effective of all teachers.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. ”

— Khalil Gibran

Everything—and I do mean everything–that occurs in life is forming a pathway for us to become more. And despite appearances otherwise, we actually become more beautiful and more powerful because of our ongoing dance with adversity.

In Japan, there is an ancient art form, Kintsugi, which is also a philosophy about the experiences in life which we believe break us.

Kintsugi, translated literally as ‘golden joinery’ and also known as Kintsukuroi, is the Japanese art of repairing broken dishes with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.

The philosophy behind it is that the damage and mending process is an invaluable part of the history of the dish, instead of something to be hidden in shame. In fact, the repaired dish often becomes more extraordinary and precious as a result.

And this is a perfect metaphor to make peace with pain— to understand its purpose and recognize its deep meaning.

Does that sound like I am telling you what you want to hear? Does it seem like I am creating a panacea to feel more comfortable with the waves of chaos that sweep through our lives?

I’m not. It’s truth.

The pain isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you.

A big part of this journey involves enduring separation and suffering, because it allows for expansion and growth on a level not possible otherwise.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ”— Helen Keller

You are whole — but believing that you are broken — to expand.

The truth is that we are whole, infinite and omnipotent beings who could never truly be anything less. So we choose the experience of being broken and the process of piecing ourselves back together to know ourselves on a more profound level.

Sit with that truth for a bit and consider how it changes you.

You are not broken. You are more.

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