On Wednesday, we talked about how we respond to difficulty, using a quote from Winston Churchill. After I wrote that blog, I read about a man who'd had a tough childhood and also as an adult, experienced several losses before finally getting his life together.
He didn't let his childhood or the losses stop him in his tracks, however. He didn't give up or get derailed. What he has done instead, he says, is to use "his pain as propane." That struck me as a great way to use adversity in our lives. That definitely doesn't mean we ignore the pain, difficulties and losses. No, we deal with them in appropriate ways—and then move on. We do not allow the painful situations of our lives to define us nor to be the last (or only) word.
Rather, we let the pain fuel and empower us. We let it spur us on to fulfilling our dreams and to becoming the people we want to be. That in turn often pushes us to empower others and help them transform pain, too.
Pain as propane—yes, pain and suffering can be transformative. In fact, I have heard many people say that it was through their cancer (or other serious illness) that they really came to learn many of their life lessons, create new dreams and appreciate life and loved ones.