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Like everyone, I’ve had my share of unpleasant,
difficult, and down right heart breaking
experiences.

For the longest time I was angry at the world
because I’d experienced them.

I hated the mistakes
I made.

I berated myself for my screw-ups and
stupid choices.

I felt defined by them—
embarrassed and soiled—like I should be wearing a
T-Shirt with the words “Damaged Goods” on it.

One day, a very wise person said these words to
me:
Everything that has ever happened to you is
the perfect preparation for the person you’re
destined to become.

And everything clicked;

Those things that I had regretted so much, had
shaped me.

What’s more, I had a choice in it.

I had inadvertently used those things that had happened
to me as things that drove me forward.

Many of the things I’d become interested in, my passions, and
my values were driven by those very experiences.

Don’t hate your past.

No matter what it contained
or what it did to you, the past shapes who you are,
not just for the things you felt damaged you but for
the lessons you can take from it.

I love working and making friends with the people I call the world
shakers.

They’re the people who want to make a
difference in the world so that they leave it in a
slightly better way than they found it.

I love these types of people because they’re so
driven by their heart and passion for others.

They’re kind.

They value people.

You know what else these people have in common?

They have empathy for others and a desire to make
the world a better place.

Not in a showy, “give me
the Nobel Peace Prize” kind of way (although a bit
more showy-ness wouldn’t go amiss!) but in a
gentle, modest way.

Do you know what really amazes and inspires me
about world shakers?

They’ve had their own hurts,
challenges, and heartbreaks but instead of letting
those things harden them and make them brittle,
they’ve allowed themselves to stay open and
vulnerable.

They’ve taken those things that have
wounded, battered, and pierced them and
transformed the experiences into fierce
empathy for others.

They can’t walk past the person who’s struggling
because they know how it feels to struggle.

They have a way of recognizing the human condition in
all of us.

They turn it outward and use it as a learning
experience, one that enhances their ability to
empathize and drives their conviction to change
things for others.

It could be the mother who refuses to pass on the
cycle of abuse she experienced to her own kids, or
the teacher who bans the world “stupid” from his
classroom because he can remember how much it
crippled him to hear it as a child.

It could be the man who gives coffee to the
homeless guy every day because he can know
what it’s like to feel like no one cares about you, or
the recovering addict who works with troubled
teens to try and save them the pain of his
experiences.

World shaking is often driven by a need to
make things better because of the pain
we’ve suffered ourselves.

Still, I still have to catch myself when I bemoan the
things that have happened to me over the years.

I realized that resilience is a practice, not some
innate skill that you either have or you don’t.

I learned how to develop my own resilience and that
made me immensely driven to help others do it,
too.

My dark times also forged my sense of empathy, a
key skill I bring to my life.

If I’d had the
“charmed” life I’d originally wanted, would this
have been the case? Somehow I doubt it.

All of the lessons I’ve learned led to wisdom that
can only be gained through experiencing life’s ups
and downs.

Hard lessons learned are deep lessons.

They shape us.

Most of us are familiar with the
term post-traumatic stress, but did you know
there is also a phenomenon called post-
traumatic growth?

It’s the ability to grow through adversity—to come
out the other end stronger, clearer, and with a
renewed zest for life.
I think that’s what many of us fail to recognize in
ourselves, that those dark times, far from
diminishing us, can give us the most profound of
gifts—the gift of recognizing human life in all its
messy, painful, courageous glory.

We can take those gifts and use them to be a
beacon to others to say, “It’s okay. I’ve been there.
This too will pass.”

And that surely is a real gift worth giving.

My past,my past pain,has become my glory-my leading light into a bright self-conscious future.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

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