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Posted on Jan 26, 2010 in favorites | 3 comments

When Life Asks More of You Than it Has Before

by Jill MacGregor


There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin




Tested.

Steeled.

Trial by fire.

Sometimes what feels really bad is really good for us. In a there’s no other way to get this information kind of way.

We’ve all had those moments, when we’re living our lives, minding our own business and things are going fine. Then, in what feels like out of the blue, everything changes, situations become difficult and you’re knee deep in something thorny, possibly tragic and definitely something new…not good new.

Suddenly, something is going to stop being easy. Something’s going to stop being comfortable. And sometimes, something that we thought was perfect and dear may be ending.

All these rough spots that life nudges us toward with sharp, pointy elbows, the moments of great change and sometimes great pain, coincidently happen to be pockets of intense personal growth of the *whether you want to or not* variety.

I have a tendency to whisper “thank you” under my breath, understanding that this situation I’m about to be shoved into is going to change me at the core whether I want to be changed or not. And while it changes me, it also prepares me to deal with other challenges. Thank you, I whisper, for change and all of its many guises.

Thank you, for the job that ended…because I am doing so many more interesting things with my time and mind. Things I wouldn’t have discovered and truly embraced otherwise.

Thank you for the relationships that have changed or ended even though at the moment it felt like a loss. They’ve allowed other relationships to rise to the surface and become even more important to me.

Thank you for distance that makes me miss some of the most important people in my life. It makes me never waste a moment with them.

Thank you for all of the times I only had a vague notion of what I wanted my life to be—all the times when I felt like I was just a big aggregate of dissimilar situations, unconnected events, a pile of strings. Those moments taught me patience (still learning) and gave me an eye to spot what’s valuable…not by the shine, but by the strength.

Although my first reaction to change may be pain, fear, sadness or discomfort, that is merely a response to a symptom of what I’m experiencing, not the end product of change. These symptoms are just the deep stretch to warm up my emotional muscles. And sometimes that initial stretch doesn’t feel very good at all. I think I’ve pulled something…

Thank you, I whisper, for all the times I thought I couldn’t. There’s nothing like being half way up the proverbial mountain and feeling like you have no strength to continue only to discover you have just enough in you for one more step–and one more step and one more step after that.

Thank goodness for that.


The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.

W.E.B. Du Bois


You may want to read Don’t Make Me *Lucky Bastard* You

3 Comments

  1. Great post.

    I really appreciate this reminder. It takes a lot of effort, however, to remind yourself of the value of the experience in the moment. Whispering “thank you” is a great tactic.

    It reminded me also of Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Happiness Hypothesis. He has a chapter called “The Uses of Adversity.” That sort of serves as my mantra – Adversity is useful.

  2. “The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.”

    Hard though, isn’t it?

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