Recently I’ve been having conversations with people who are walking through really hard, life-changing chapters. There’s pain and loss, heartbreak and tenderness, sadness and isolation. There’s overwhelm, chaos and change, and lots of questions left unanswered.
I’m standing in one of those myself spaces as I write these words.
And I’ve noticed something that leaves my heart a little unsettled.
Many of these people are working too hard to be “enlightened” about the situation. Conscious of the lessons and the gifts, when the wounds are still raw and gaping, torn flesh hanging from the bone. They’re sitting in front of me, with hearts heavier than they’ve ever been, telling me why it’s a gift.
Yes. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe there are always lessons and gifts, that we’re always being guided, and…
Sometimes things are just painful and they suck.
Sometimes we’re just sad and our hearts are heavy.
Sometimes the loss is just too much to bear right now.
Sometimes the irrational anger gnaws endlessly at our insides.
Sometimes we’re uncertain and a little bit lost.
Sometimes things are just hard.
Our work in those hard moments is not to jump ahead and “find the good” and plaster it over our present pain… it’s to just be in the pain.
To just feel the emotions as they move through us in exhausting and overwhelming waves. To be sad. Angry. Hurt. When we rush the “lessons and the gifts” we miss the truly divine, healing, and life changing wisdom that’s meant to come from those unbelievable challenging moments. We take what we “think we should see and believe and feel” and we shortchange ourselves from what’s really meant to come.
The lessons and the gifts — that divine wisdom you so deeply desire to be here in this moment — it will come when it’s time. When you’ve felt the emotions all the way through, and you’re ready for what’s next.
That’s the only way we can truly receive the gift.
Truly learn and fully grok the important lesson.
It’s the only way the wisdom can take root inside our soul.
Serving us long after this hard moment has passed.
Not by using polished positivity and fluffy affirmations. Not by jumping ahead of ourselves and being overly “conscious” and “enlightened” about what we’re walking through.
If you look back through my words and land in last summer, you’ll see posts where I tell you that things were hard and falling apart and I didn’t have the happy ending for you yet. Because I didn’t. Because even though I’m a “teacher” and a “leader” and a “coach,” the lessons and the gifts from that season weren’t there yet.
It was just hard and heavy and more challenging than anything I’d ever known. And because I just let it be hard and heavy and more challenging than anything I’d ever known, rather than trying to be “inspired” and “aware,” I uncovered the true lessons and gifts. The ones that are just for me to learn and grow from. Not the mindless mantras we like to say in hard times… but MY true purpose. MY soul’s work in the world. MY own unique form of healing.
Leave the lessons where they’re meant to be found.
(hint: you don’t know where that is until you know)
Stop jumping ahead and plastering over the pain of this moment.
Just be with it.
Feeling it fully.
The lessons and gifts will come when they’re ready.
And they will be more impactful and deeply rooted in your heart.