For the first time in my entire adult life, just a moment ago, I felt thankful for an experience with someone who I thought ruined my life (with my help). After feeling manipulated, threatened, and left emotionally bankrupt, it took me years to get passed the fallout of the situation (one that led to another and one after another)..over a decade to not feel the sting of certain memories, and for the first time that I can remember, I feel thankful for the presence they all brought to my life – not because it was pleasurable – but because I learned that while pleasure can sustain you for a time, only it, only pain can help you grow.I’ve never heard of growing pleasure, only growing pains.

The feeling that the floor has fallen out from under you while the roof is caving in is unmistakeable. It is helpless and hopeless. And when you are left without the comforts and confines of life as you know it, you are forced to use just one thing: the personal inner strength and fortitude required for survival. And once you learn how to survive; when you learn that life is one big ball of a comedy of errors somehow divinely used to better the world around you, you can begin to make something magical and auspicious of the life you’ve been given.

I’ve learned to thrive off of my own steam, my own fuel. Not everyone will ever see my personal vision or dream. They were never meant to – lest they say I owe it all to them. I know that now, and am learning so more and more with each passing day.

I would not have learned that, had I not been left to see what I was really made of when my only remaining, constant friend was my pain.

I’ll never forget what you taught me, dear friend, pain, and you and your cousins may no doubt make visits to my house from time to time. And don’t worry, though our lasting friendship is certainly now come to a close, know that I’m finally thankful for your presence in my life. You taught me well. You prepared me for a life full of pleasure. Thank you.

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