Published January 18, 2017 The one thing that has gotten me through my darkest moments, is my belief that somewhere, deep down, (perhaps even in a time & place we can’t consciously remember)… we chose our struggles. That before coming to this life, we understood the pain that would come with our human experience – because nothing sticks quite the way a lesson does to a raw, aching heart. The tenderness makes us soft enough to mold to what we’ve learned. The wisdom makes us tough, like a vase perfected by the unbearable heat of its furnace. When this notion of choosing my own discomfort was first brought to my attention, I was angry. Why would anyone CHOOSE the tragic parts of this physical world? Why would we consent to war, sickness, death, and sorrow? These things felt unfair to me. Why do some have to hurt more than others? I realized I could either stick with this view of the world – that life is cruel and we don’t deserve the tragedies we inevitably endure – or I could find the magic in the pain. “Suffering upon suffering until the suffering is recognized as the pleasure that it is…” I know that I will NEVER know more clearly what I DO want, then when I’m living what I don’t want. I know that I could not fully appreciate the awe of birth, if life was not precious enough to expire. I know that if I hadn’t experienced moments of immense pain, I wouldn’t have the drive to seek greater pleasure. If I never felt hopeless, I wouldn’t feel such a deep calling in my heart to give hope to others. Sometimes we choose adversity to learn these lessons for ourselves… and other times we are assigned mountains to show others what can be done when you don’t give up. We don’t realize how much our pain has orchestrated the success we are experiencing today – and we couldn’t IMAGINE the impact our strength in those times has had on the people around us. Keep pushing. You never know who needs to see that mountain move.