Hello my dear friend, I hope you know that I'm on a mission to fill your life, your heart, and your mind with the most inspiring and relevant knowledge, that I believe will fill your life with a beautiful and life-enhancing perspective. The kind of perspective that allows you to interpret, and in some cases reinterpret the events of your life in a new and more empowering light. I don't know you personally, but I wish that I did, and I wish that I could hear your personal story, your goals, your desires, and those things that you truly value and that you are fighting for.
Today I want to share with you what I believe is a powerful and life changing doctrine. A brave philosophy that I believe can not only help you heal, but also help you to view your life as something that has happened for you, and not just to you. You and I are meaning making machines. We can assign meaning to the events in our life… and that meaning makes all of the difference.
I remember listening to a Tony Robbins CD back in the day, where he told a story about Nelson Mandela. Most likely you know a little about who he is, if you don't, it will be worthwhile finding out more. He's a fascinating person. In a nutshell, Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary. Initially, he supported a non-violent approach to remove British rule and abolish apartheid, though he later supported groups who proactively attempted to sabotage the current government. He was imprisoned for treason, and in 1962 was sentenced to life in prison. He served for 27 years in a hard labor camp, at which point he was released, re-engaged in his previous task of ending apartheid, and became South Africa's first black president. Tony goes on to tell of an experience wherein Mandela is interviewed by a reporter who asks him, "How did you handle the great injustice… the great suffering?" To which Nelson responds, and this is where I want you to listen very closely to his response, and to his perspective… He said "What suffering? It was preparation!" This is a magnificent philosophy. A powerful belief. A psychology that literally makes one, indomitable. If you choose to adopt this mindset, it will become life-changing for you. The ability to see each moment of our lives as the preparation for the very next! To recognize that this life is a vehicle for us to evolve, to grow and expand! This philosophy perhaps more than any other teaches us that within each experience are the seeds of that potential growth, of increased vision and experience, of a richer and deeper existence.
Imagine how your past, your present, and your future would transform if you simply possessed, believed, and trusted in this extraordinary mindset. To believe and trust that all circumstances can ultimately benefit us, and that all events can add to our experience, and in the end enlighten our ability to be understanding, compassionate, and healers of mankind… and this world is in need of healers, and healing… beginning with you and me.
I want to be very cautious here. I realize that there are individuals within the sound of my voice who have been through terrifying, and horrifying experiences. I realize that great abuse has been perpetrated. Great injustices and betrayals have occurred. Trauma has wounded, and left some of you with unforgettable scars, that at times spill out in present situations. I see you, hear you, and feel for you my dear friends. This isn't pity, it's a call and an invitation for you to see the events of your life not just as meaningless suffering, but as meaningful suffering. If you've never heard of Corinne Tenboom's "The Hiding Place", I would highly recommend you picking up a copy of it, listening to it, or re-reading it. Corinne is just one of many stories, of those who lived in concentration camps. Who experienced great suffering. Who were eye witnesses to some of the greatest horrors that mankind can and has produced, and yet were able to rise from the ashes of such events, like the phoenix, and shine their courageous wisdom to the world. Here's one of my favorite quotes from that inspiring book, "Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work he will give us to do."
This is a powerful doctrine that if instilled within the walls of our heart, liberates us to find personal meaning in the moments of great sadness, tragedy, loss, and disappointment. It invites us to step beyond the great injustices and tragedies of this life, with the recognition that as we carry the burdens and vicissitudes of life, our back is shaped and strengthened. In the movie "Shadowlands" we learn about the life of C.S. Lewis and some of the loss that he experienced. The movie culminates with a powerful realization that is spoken by his sweet wife as she dies, "the sadness now, is part of the happiness later." This magnificent and perspective-changing idea, if planted within and given room to grow, can allow us in time, to see a why, in almost any how.
Look, I'm no judge of you. I don't pretend to know or to have felt what you have gone through. I don't assume that the things that you have suffered will quickly transform and become a blessing instead of a great curse. I'm not suggesting that the things that occurred to you have a reason as to why they happened; only that they did, and because they did, they have now become yours. As the creator that you are, you can begin to transform them. I don't have a timeline wherein you have to start feeling and doing better. And yet… and yet I plead with you, as I would plead with myself, to consider that beyond the great hurt and abuse that you have encountered and suffered through, there is power! There is light and a measure of peace! There is the potential for weak things to become strong! I believe it, I know it, and I've seen it.
Your life has prepared you for this moment, shall we not seize it? Shall we not rise beyond the great valleys of suffering and victimization that we are all destined to travel through, and climb the high peaks of this life to regard the wonderful vistas that lie ahead. Shall we not be a blessing unto ourselves, while also liberating and blessing others? Yes, let us take the preparation that has been imparted unto us, and with it educate and heal others… all the while, healing ourselves. Thank you for hearing me out, and considering this idea.