Realizing that I wouldn’t be who I am nor would I be able to do what I love most without having the cracks in the pavement on my journey is probably the best realization I’ve had as of late. I realized I’ve learned to stop brushing off criticism and start listening to it. Because even if some people are cruel, I can get past that, and listen in case something they are saying is rooted in the truth. When I stumble, I look at what it is I’m tripping over. Not doing so may be one of the greatest mistakes.
And what I’ve noticed about myself is that the things that bother me most are the things that are the most true. So I listen when it hurts. I personally try to consider a perspective I may have not seen before. I try to learn and grow and be better. Because if I realize that it’s honestly the truth, then it’s something that I have to honestly come to terms with.
The more I’ve been able to do that, the happier I’ve become. I don’t see criticism as daunting anymore. I’ve been able to look at struggles and challenges and those days where I’m just plain old fed up and miserable as passing segments of my life. Temporary moments that make way for the light to come through. If I hadn’t known suffering, loss, sadness and all the other crap life slaps out, I wouldn’t be a writer, because I wouldn’t have anything to write about. If I had a perfect life, I would never have had the chance to hurt but then to grow and experience more, feel more, be more. I like to think of pain as my heart just stretching out.
And the point is, that’s what works for me, but what works for you may be much different. Nobody’s light is going to be exactly the same, but it’s important that you do find it.
A professor of mine once shared a personal story of how, after finishing her undergraduate degree, she struggled to find work and had to move back in with her parents. At the time, she thought it was the worst thing ever, and she was overcome with grief and feeling as though she had failed. Not even two weeks after she moved back home, her father died suddenly. After he died, she was accepted into the graduate school she wanted to go to and went forth to pursue her education and eventually found her way. She said that she couldn’t be more grateful for that time she had at home, because it was the last time she got to spend with her dad. She did not pose this story to us as any kind of proof of religion or God or why we should believe. She was just saying that this is what she experienced, and ever since, she has had unfailing faith that everything does literally happen for a reason.
I can’t help but concur. The light came through the cracks of her life, and I’m sure it’s coming through yours as well… it just may not be time to see it yet.