True growth is found along the rocky path.
If someone asked you to paint a picture of your life, how would your composition look?
Would it be full of color, of life, sound, with beautifully accented margins? Or would it be dull, gray, scrawled with deep strokes of coarse charcoal?
The truth is, most of our life compositions would be a collage of color and depth, of emotional turns, places where the light is brilliant, and full of shadows which hide the play of light.
And so it goes with life.
Our lives aren’t always the most brilliant, not always the most noble, truthful. Nor are they full of wisdom, wise choices or smart moves. Our lives are painted with many colors, many shades of brilliant darkness with struggling hints of light. And this is the mark of adversity.
This is how growth happens.
“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
I’ve never claimed to be a perfect person. And those I’ve come across in life that signal their own virtue I look upon with great skepticism.
The fact is, people aren’t perfect. And anyone who claims to be anywhere close to perfect is probably selling something.
Imperfection defines human life. And this is why life is beautiful. Because you cannot have light without the dark.
But the ether is teeming with false light.
Lately, as I read blogs on various platforms as I always have, I’ve noticed the growing trend of repetition abound. Almost as if everyone is steadily repeating everything they hear from everyone else, nearly verbatim.
It’s become noise, intrusion.
Those who once looked to the blog world to seek out new opinions, authentic thought, genuineness and innovative ideas are left feeling a bit unfilled.
And I see this trend growing everyday.
But things have changed. Everyone has come to the fore to trumpet their voice, to let their life be known, not to give advice, but to build a following, to monetize their words and thoughts.
A once private space shared by those wishing only for authentic thoughts has become a cage of parrots, all fluttering about frantically, squawking “advice” gleaned at 23rd hand.
And the main point everyone seems to be trying to make is to remove all negativity from your life, find your purpose, love yourself first.
Well, I say good luck with that.
Nothing is wrong with wanting to create positivity. And we all wish for peaceful days, relaxed afternoons, evenings spent in comfort. But to believe that removing all negativity from your life is even possible holds in itself the impossible.
Adversity creates growth. Diversity and triumph are the children of this growth.
“Ghosting” somebody, or removing somebody from your life simply because they don’t agree with your views creates a vacuum, an echo chamber. It creates a false sense of positivity.
And it is this alignment with the false positive that has everyone repeating the same diatribe.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
In all, I read more of the same nonsense in different forms quite often:
“How to find your purpose”
“How to be yourself”
“How to remove negativity from your life”
“How to find your reason why”
And this list goes on and on…
But all of this is speaking the same formula. It’s giving advice that lacks depth, wisdom and substance.
When did facing your fears become such a hardship? When did accepting defeat become a stigma? When did opposing viewpoints come with a mute button?
When did learning from your mistakes become a mistake?
If you travel through life attempting to avoid all pain, you’ll never know what true joy feels like.
None of this is real advice.
I remember being younger, a new kid in the neighborhood.
I was afraid to confront the older kids on the block. So each day I’d walk a long route home from school that took me around them. But one day I found that this was only prolonging the inevitable. I was suffering. And I was suffering because I didn’t have the courage to face my fears.
Eventually I had to face them. And it was that moment when my suffering stopped.
From then on I walked right by them.
And this is the great lesson we must all learn in life.
Our paths will take us across beautiful fields, alongside brilliant shorelines. But they will also take us through the dark forests, through the burnt meadows.
Yet we must walk.
Accept life. Make sound decisions. And take care what “advice” you hear.
We are all traveling a path. And we must all fight along this path at times.
To see the compliments of light and dark is a blessing. This is seeing life as it is. Because to see only one shade of life simply illuminates your own reflection.
So stand tall. Embrace your great moments. And learn from your trials.
“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.”
― Terry Goodkind