Posted: July 10, 2020 in: Pain-2-Power, Personal Empowerment

Is the “Bad” Stuff Really Raw Material for the Best Stuff?

Things go wrong.  Our lives run into roadblocks.  Our relationships become painful.  Businesses we start or work for meet with resistance.  Is it rational or is it irrational to believe that every painful page of the story is prelude to powerful pages down the road?  Here’s the answer:  It is rational if you truly believe it.  Put another way, it is rational if you have faith.

How does belief—faith—make the story turn in the direction of greater power?  I believe it does so by triggering the miraculous power of narrative in the human heart and mind.  We are born storytellers—all of us—and there may be no more important or worthy focus of our gifts than our own life stories.  When we “understand” adversity as challenging us to think more deeply about ourSELVES, our relationships and our work, we set both neurological and spiritual gears in motion that do the work of mapping out better paths to even better ends.

The ultimate outcome of our setbacks depends on whether we expect and trust that the setbacks are teaching moments, not just tortuous ones.  Can they be painful, too—certainly.  But they aren’t painful without a purpose—not unless we seethem in that way.  The way we regard them—with or without faith in a better future—becomes a SELF-fulfilling prophecy.

We are both creatures of narrative and creators of narrative.  Narrative is different than imagination.  Imagination can veer into dreams that float away from reality, like brightly-colored, untethered balloons that burst nearer the sun.  Narrative, properly channeled and focused, implies a story true to real potential and to real promise.  It accounts for lessons from the past, the opportunities of the present moment and paving a path to a more positive future.

Seen this way, nothing that happens can’t be turned to the good.  We trip and fall in life in order to learn to stand up.  We experience pain to learn to endure it and appreciate times when it subsides.  Our families experience discord in order to unearth the roots of it and achieve harmony.  Our businesses fail to measure up so that we can take the measure of them more honestly and strengthen them more completely.

The core question in life is whether you will resolve to turn all pain into power.  It is not only possible to make that happen, it is promised through an indominable force called faith.

Dr. Keith Ablow


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