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Grow Through What You Go Through

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There are lots of ways to say this same thing. Honestly my favorite?

It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger!

{But it doesn’t really lend itself to pretty graphics like this one…}

I mean, think about it: When you got to the gym and you lift that 5lb weight over your head over and over again you eventually want more of a challenge, right? So you pick up the 7.5lb weight and do it again until that’s a breeze…

Pretty soon, you’re looking back on where you started saying ‘Dang, that was easy!’

I think of grief and mourning as that 5lb weight…or maybe an ankle shackle…you carry it around with you long enough it doesn’t feel quite so heavy, right? It’s because you’re stronger; you’ve built up that candy-coated shell and you’re a little harder to break. It’s not because it got easier.

Here is another way I have heard a similar sentiment (this is not mine but I don’t know who to credit):

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter” spat the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dribbled down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master. “No,” said the young man.

At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in.

So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things…stop being a glass. Become a lake.

Do any of these metaphors resonate with you? Do you have another that you like more? Please share and remember to expand your heart and mind.


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