A man, riding his horse and carriage during winter, rode upon a woman and child sitting roadside dying of hunger and hypothermia. The woman was so feeble that she could hardly utter the words, “please help…”
Seeing the desperate situation of the two, he helped the child into the open buggy and gave the baby the only blanket. Once settled, he looked back at the woman, whipped the reins and took off leaving the mother.
So distraught, the woman screamed with a feral wrench at the theft of her child and began chasing the carriage on foot. Even though the tracks disappeared into the distance, she still ran following after in the snow.
Running into a village, she caught up to the man climbing out of the buggy with her child. Desperate with panic, she snatched back her child yelling for the village’s help at her would-be child’s kidnapper. Quickly she recounted the story to the villagers who began to restrain the carriage driver.
He protested. “I had no room for this woman, no blanket, no warmth. Had she felt her child in no danger, she would have surely died waiting my return since I could not take both mother and child. In her distress, she reignited the fire of life within her and remained alive, due to her struggle in the cold to run after the buggy.”
Often, life throws challenges at us not because we’re being punished, but so we can survive, so we can keep the fire of aliveness within us, and struggle to evolve.
My learning disabilities guided me to work with brain damaged and mentally ill children and transformed me into a Mensa keynote speaker for recognizing our hidden gifts in our worst perceived circumstances; overcoming obesity and osteochondrosis forced me to develop unique tools and techniques to help others embrace physical challenges rather than punish themselves with shame and guilt. Early familial violence led to being institutionalized in a childhood psychiatric hospital yet awakened my awareness of the excessive stress of physical abuse, shame and humiliation, and eventuated in my career researching health and fitness recovery mechanisms to overcome trauma.
Certainly, at the time, hardships may feel like a punishing imprisonment. Yet when we endure, they enable gifts beyond our comprehension. There are no demons; only allies in our continued evolution.
I asked God to take away my habit. God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.
I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is learned.
I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No. You must grow on your own! But I will prune you to make you fruitful
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.
I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me. God said… Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.
The next time you feel punished, that you’ve suffered some bad luck, misfortune, or unjust lot, be courageous, take action and endure. The events may be so difficult that gratitude may not be possible in the moment, but at least hold hope that your courage to endure will bring you benefits you cannot yet imagine. Hold fast; you do not know the progress you are making!
www.breathinggift.com (My free book and video gift to you.)