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Thank you Pain

Sep 02, 2021

Rev. Dr. Michelle Wadleigh

It is not a cliché - what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or, that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, or that pain grows you. It is also true that many of us learned this way too late and the suffering seemed real, unrelenting, and unnecessary.

But, I would like to testify to the transformation that happens when you embrace what is instead of running from it, hiding, or numbing out in some fashion. To this point, this blog might sound amusing, but the rest is raw, profound, and not for tender eyes.

Here is my gratitude list for the pain that I have experienced in my life.

From an alcoholic mother, I learned what not to do and how to stand by my children while being fully present.

From a sexually abusive father, I learned my worthiness and ability to forgive and stand on my own two feet.

From both, I learned to love, forgive, and have compassion both for those who perpetrate abuse and those who suffer at the hands of the perpetrators.

From having a child with ADD, I have learned to love without expectation.

From my experience of financial lack, I have learned how to appreciate what I have and have developed better life habits, most specifically, how to be responsible.

From numerous experiences of betrayal, I have learned not to take things personally and to stop hoping and expecting people to be what they are not.


From my faulty parenting, I learned to forgive myself, over and over again.

From making really bad decisions that harmed others, and the resulting shame that accompanied this behavior, I learned about the pain of my actions, the impact I caused; I learned to forgive myself and to live from high integrity.

From a lack of traditional education, I have learned to believe in myself, my skills, my intuition, and how to prosper from these things.

From loss, I learned to grieve and appreciate those in my life and to stay in contact with those that I care about.

And so much more. . .

So, what have you experienced in your life that has left you stronger? What have you learned to value about yourself, others, and life itself?

If, up to now, you only held these events in your life as suffering, can you now turn it around to see who you have become? I pray for you that you are able to turn around and count your blessings, that you can learn to love your life as it was and who you have become because of it. At all costs, leave behind the bitterness.

May you feel alive, blessed, and brilliant.

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