I’m not one given to clichés or overused quotes, but the one titling this post is worthy of over-use.
During periods of despair, and we all have them, I look for an easy way out. It is, I understand, human nature to attempt a swift escape from pain and discomfort. But this I know, when faced with a challenging experience that culminates in personal growth, the only way out is through. A few I’ve weathered are heartbreak from being stood-up the night of the Snowball Dance in high school, homesick during the first quarter in college, devastation following divorce, fear around being a single parent, sadness after my daughters flew into young-adulthood, grief after my husband died, and … The opportunities for growth and self-discovery keep on coming.
With each of these, I searched unsuccessfully for a side exit, a trapdoor, a hidden window to escape the pain. So, in addition to the pain at hand, I had frustration and disappointment. Now, I sit with the discomfort. Maybe I light a candle and invite the feeling in, tell it to “sit a spell” “take a load off.” In that quiet alone space, I learn. There, I learn about myself, my strength, the depth of my heart. I invite you to try going through, not around, under, or over the pain. A more confident and wise you will emerge.