One of the greatest blessings we have in life is the ability to redeem the moments of life that are most painful, those times when tragedy strikes, or difficulties arise or even regrets are experienced.... if we choose to take that challenge. We can take those moments and scatter them as seeds of experience to offer a world that needs to hear our story. People need to hear that all is not lost, they need sometimes to be warned, and to be offered stories of hope and resiliency. You can't truly offer any of those things unless you've been battle weary. Brene Brown illuminates this beautifully as she quotes Theodore Roosevelt in her book Daring Greatly
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt, the Man in the Arena. Delivered at the Sorbonne (Paris) on April 23rd, 1910.
We will all experience pain, we will all fail at some point. We are broken in our human condition. But the beauty is, that our brokenness can be redeemed, can offer hope, and a sense that we are all in this together if we offer our experiences to a broken world. We have the ability through offering who we are and the lessons we learned to let go of shame that keeps us hidden and protective and to offer mercy and compassion to others.