Pain is a Disguised Blessing

rain-on-surfaceIn the blockbuster movie “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” Captain James T. Kirk declared “I need my pain.” What does he mean he needs his pain? How is hurting a good thing? Is there really an upside to getting hurt? How could experiencing emotional pain be a disguised blessing?

Can pain be a tool of Spirit to help us make our lives better? Yes, emotional pain is a disguised blessing! We have all been there. Life is going great and then … WHAM! You are blindsided by something you did not see coming or things did not turn out the way you wanted them to. Suddenly you find yourself in a place of pain. You are devastated and wondering how to get through the hurt when you feel you have been torn apart.

pathway-forestCan you find the lesson in the pain and move on from it, feeling blessed for the experience? I say absolutely, and that it is the normal condition for us to do so. We experience emotional pain for myriad reasons, but whatever way the pain comes to our emotions, we are being giving a chance to learn more about ourselves and to grow as a person – which is one of the greatest blessings of all. Pain is pain, and yes, that means it hurts. However, the greatest lessons we learn about ourselves are when we are challenged the most, when we have to give the most, and when we have to dig for it.

When the pain initially hits it is difficult to see how anything could be positive about the experience. As hard as it is sometimes to accept, it is when you face the challenges in life that you grow the most. When making a blade the metal smith will temper the steel, heating it, hammering it, immersing it in cold water, then returning it to the fire and repeating. This process creates a blade that is stronger with the spring required so that it does not easily break. For us, emotional pain is tempering.

hand-candleWe are spiritual beings in a human existence, here to learn – as it is said life is school for the soul. Some of us may feel like we are on a crash course! The pain that we experience emotionally teaches us about ourselves for good or ill. The blessing in the pain is that it gives us an opportunity to learn about ourselves and to grow closer with our spiritual self.

Learning the lesson that the pain has brought you is important to getting through it. Yup, you sure can wallow in that pain all you want, but pain is Spirit’s way of trying to show us there is another way or to show us that we are trying for something that is not in our best interest. Pain is the catalyst that helps us grow in both who we are as a person and in our spiritual lives. I do not recommend seeking out emotional pain unnecessarily, but when pain comes to you, try using these steps to help you get to the blessing part as soon as possible.

Look for the Blessing(Lesson) in the Pain. Why are you hurting? Did you lose at love? Are you grieving for a lost loved one or friend? That promotion you were hoping for did not come through? Study the reason for the pain to find the lesson. It is time to make changes for a happier you!

Consciously Choose to Move Forward From the Pain Part. You hurt only as long as you want to. I used to get so mad when my mother would say that to me! Now I am so glad she did. Yes, the pain hurts, but you do not have to stay in it. You can move forward from the pain and retain the blessing with the lesson you have received any time you choose.

Incorporate the Blessing/Lesson Into Your Life. You have to work at this one because it normally means you have to change a way of thinking, an avenue of approach or even move forward from the whole situation. Making change is difficult but worth the energy and effort. You will find incorporating the blessing not only makes you stronger, but happier too as it compounds the positive effect throughout your life.

When we experience emotional pain life is tempering us and we are given the blessing to work through the pain and come out of it on the other side better, stronger, and more in tune with who we are. Listening to Singer Kelly Clarkson’s international hit “Stronger” always helps me see the pain as a blessing in disguise!

Cultivating Your Inner Garden- Harvesting and Final Thoughts

(c) Oxfordian KissuthBy Dr Nikki Judge

This week marks the completion of our series on cultivating the garden of your soul.  We started twelve weeks ago with the stages of initial planning, review and decisions and have gone through the entire process of cultivating a strong Spiritual Garden of the Soul.

It is easy for the gardener.  The fruits of their labor are literal.  For the Spiritual Gardener of the Soul the results of efforts may take a little time to be evident.

radishResults can come in phases:

The gardener has been harvesting a little here and a little there out of the garden all along the way. First it was the radishes, then the peas, then the beans, lettuces, spinaches, chard; all have been being harvested in their own time for the best taste and freshness.  Thus the gardener has enjoyed the results of his efforts for much of the summer.

In our Spiritual Garden of the Soul we may not see immediate results from the tending of our garden.  However, we should be seeing small things here and there that show us things are changing.  Most change and advancement does not come immediately… it comes after application of determined effort and energy.   But, once the change and advancement happens, a true harvest is obtained.

lettuce harvestA well tended garden increases it’s bounty over time:

Now that the growing season is coming to a close for most of the residents in the neighborhood garden, the gardener is already removing dead vegetation, turning soil, and adding manure to help feed the soil for next year’s crop.  Compost from the compost heap is thrown over the parts of the garden that have been cleared.  By starting right away the gardener is ensuring that the next spring planting will have the best chance of success.

In our Spiritual Garden of the Soul we should be seeing how the successes and positives that make the flowers and fruit of our garden form a framework from which we can move onward, secure in the knowledge that we are moving forward and making headway in the direction we want to go.  Our lives are made up of building blocks and through the work we have done in our garden we have made ourselves stronger and given ourselves an even more solid foundation to launch our next venture from.

 Lifelong benefits: 

Knowing how to garden is like knowing how to fish.  For the gardener the lifelong benefits from gardening are better health promoted by eating properly, the satisfaction of knowing he/she knows how to raise food to put on the table.  Knowing how to garden and raise food gives a sense of independence and determination to the backyard gardener.  Hence, besides better health from the physical activity of gardening, the gardener feels empowered and can help his neighbors.

In our Spiritual Garden of the Soul we can see where the choices we have made are making changes in our lives.  Some are only small little things like trying to smile more while others are huge – such as whether to move or not.  Through developing your Spiritual Garden you have created a place to go to be able to review the life you are living and if you are living true to yourself.

tree rainbowFinal Thoughts: 

We are the gardeners of our lives – both physical and spiritual.  Through being active gardeners in our Spiritual Garden of the Soul, through facing our fears and accepting our wins and failures we can create the life we hope to have.  It is through reviewing our past for successes and failures, aligning our goals, dreams and needs, taking time to find out who we are, connecting with our physical self, making room for the new, and making the choices that truly reflect what we desire that we can move our lives forward toward a successful future.