It is said that a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor and that couldn’t be more true. There are times that navigating through the seasons of life is less of a cruise and more like being thrown off of its ledge. Though we experience many good times, create wonderful memories, and enjoy the many views, it's the times that we struggled to keep our heads of above water that sadly seem to stick with us the most. They should, but only to prove to us how far we've come and grown on our journey. It's important to acknowledge that though difficult to accept at the time, the trials and tests only improved our endurance and the storms built our strength.
In life, there are highs and lows, peaks and valleys, and joys and pains that not only test us and shake us, but also prepare us for the next step and force us to evaluate our direction in an effort to mold us into better versions of ourselves. Essentially, we have to go through some things to know some things. Sometimes it takes falling, suffering, and experiencing struggles to open our eyes, make changes, and find the people that have been lost for so long...ourselves.
The problem is that so many of get so wrapped up in the past that we let it destroy our present and future. We are haunted by hindsight, filled with rage toward people that wronged us, struggle to forgive ourselves, and refuse to let go of the dead weight that comes with it all. Here's the thing: no amount of tears, shame, resentment, anger, sadness, or bitterness can take back a single word we spoke, loss we suffered, damage we've done, tear we cried, time we wasted, or opportunity we missed. It's over. We can't change what's done but we can allow the lessons to change us for the better. Whenever we do that, everything that we experienced is no longer in vain but can be used enhance our vision and to bring value to someone else.
Because pride led to my fall, I found healing through humility. By hurting others and myself, it increased my desire to help others and those that cannot help themselves. From emptiness, I developed empathy. Because I've wrongfully judged, I now strive to be more tolerant and accepting. Because of my foolishness, I learned lessons and sought wisdom. From my faults, I learned to forgive myself and other people. Through the tactics of my enemies, I gained endurance and a greater appreciation for those who support me. Since I experienced what felt like self destruction, I found the motivation for redirection. Because I've suffered from and feared rejection, I realized the power of self love and actualization. Getting lost helped me to find myself, my way, and my voice. From my deepest pain I acquired by strongest power.
I had to realize that I couldn't do it all on my own. In my weakness, I had to cling to the one who has all strength. I had to realize the limitations of my control and accept that my plan and way is not always the best, but it's never too late to reach for that someone who can order my steps in the right direction. Not mountaintops, but valleys taught me that. It was my worst experiences, decisions, heartaches, and feelings that taught me the best lessons and essentially tore me down to build a better person. It wasn't comfortable or even understood at times, but it was allowed because what came from it was greater.
Everything in my journey worked together to open my mind, change my perspective, foster my faith and help me learn to follow my heart. Most importantly, it helped me to grow and become the person I am today. Though it took time to realize, accept, and appreciate, I can't be bitter toward myself, anything, or anyone when it's undoubtably a combination of all life experiences that made me better.
Understand that all things are allowed and were allowed for a reason. Accept that we are exactly where we are supposed to be in this season. Believe that what's ahead is greater than what's behind. We don't have to have a perfect past or pristine present to have a powerful and purpose filled future. So let's pick ourselves up, smile, and put one foot in front of the other, because none of our experiences ended us. They are the very things that enlightened us and can be used to elevate us. Our story's ending will change for the better once we learn to.