You Can't Have it Both Ways

images-2I had a great birthday weekend.  What made it so special was connecting with people I LOVE!  On Saturday my husband treated me and two of my friends to a spa day…..it was just what we needed; ALL of us!  We had facials, massages, relaxed in the hot tub and enjoyed the steam room.  To wrap up our day we ate at a fantastic Mexican restaurant inhaling chips and salsa and fresh made guacamole – YUM, my favorite!!

Of course while we were together we talked NON-STOP, like girls do!  There was one conversation in particular that we had that stuck out to me.  We were reflecting upon some of our past experiences, many of which were new stories – I so enjoy learning new things about my friends!

As we were sharing and laughing about life and some of our experiences one of my friends said this, “I wouldn’t choose my difficult and painful experiences, and they were hard to go through but the growth I gained from them changed me into a more compassionate and sensitive person. Those changes wouldn’t have happened without the experiences. So you can’t have it both ways.”

I really like how she stated that.  So often when I’m connecting with people I hear things like, “I wish that would’ve NEVER happened”, “If I could do life over again, I would change this, that, or the other thing.”  I also know, based on my own past experiences, that when we are hurt, angry, carry resentments, shame and guilt towards ourselves and others we struggle to grow and see what good comes out of our experiences.

There’s the old saying, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”  I agree with that but it’s so vague.  I would like to add some alternative ways to finish that statement, “That which does not kill us CAN……

…..make us more understanding and non-judgmental.”

…..allow us to become angry.”

…..give us opportunities to help others because we can relate.”

…..cause resentment and bitterness towards others.”

…..change us positively.”

…..impact us negatively.”

How do you view your experiences?  Are they opportunities for growth? Or are they set backs?  Would you choose NOT to go through painful and difficult situations? OR Would you go through the same, all-over again because if you hadn’t, who would you be today?  Is there something that you’ve experienced that maybe needs to be looked at differently?

For me, I do need to look at some of my past experiences differently.  I still have some resentments and anger that I need to work through AND I need to forgive myself for some things to be set free from lingering shame and guilt that I’ve been carrying.

I STRIVE to finish the statement above with this approach, “That which does not kill me changes me positively and gives me an opportunity to help others.”

How would YOU finish it?

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