Every struggle bears a rare fruit. It has the power to reveal a very key piece of our personality. Our most difficult challenges become gifts that unlock something amazing about who we really are, something that we have no idea exists yet, a prize reserved only for the effort put forth in a single situation. And it must be earned with bravery: we have to go for it and let go of whether or not we get what we want, to do what we know we must. Easier said than done, but when we start to look at life in this way, we soon see how true it really is.

What every experience does for us is provide a spotlight onto a facet of our potential. It asks us to try with all our might and prove what we are capable of; to show ourselves and the world where our hearts lie. It’s not about stamina or ability or talent; it’s about being honest with ourselves. To know that we are working as hard as we can to move through something is all the success we need. To give up is a decision, regardless of what we want it to be, and it’s a decision that only we are responsible for. Even when you feel you have failed in the face of hardship, the experience can be a gift in disguise. Look at this perceived failure with a goal of understanding and not blame.

You cannot undo decisions, but you can ensure that they change the future for the better. If you feel ashamed of something on your the past, see it and know that you could not do anything different at that time, you cannot undo it, and make peace with that. Decide what you will do moving forward, whatever you wish you will inform what you do moving forward. Know that you have the wisdom and insight to never repeat that thing. They aren’t failures if you never repeat them. They’re more like skills.

Whatever pain or struggle you encounter, know that it is a fraction of life, and something much greater awaits you just beyond. Something you have no idea about yet. It’s a big present with a giant bow on it and something amazing is inside it. If you were able to open it today, you wouldn’t even know what you were looking at. Your brain is just too young to comprehend it. But know that it’s great and beautiful and it will give you much relief from all the fears that plague you. The catch is in order to get to this gift you have to keep walking. As best as you can you have to keep your eyes open and keep moving forward. Hold tight to yourself and your will. Trust that when you pass through pain and challenges, they get messy, they can break you down to your knees and they can cause you to feel out of control, but then you get past it. It is when you realize that you walked right through it that you begin to understand how surmountable that struggle really is. What comes out the other side is the super-you. Your person has become greater because you passed through this experience. If you were to approach the same situation again today, you would see it for what it is and know what you had to do in the face of it.

As we grow older, we gain the soothing comfort of stable footing. It all begins to make sense, we form our awareness of the world, and it feels wonderful. It’s a comfort that allows you to walk further, and look beyond yourself with clarity. And whatever happens, you are okay because you know yourself. It’s a peaceful feeling wrapped in a big colorful bow. When things are tough, don’t forget that it’s there, waiting for you.

By Sarah May Bates

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