Life, experience, tragedy, heartbreak, lost jobs, lost friendships, lost moments……life gets messy at times. It’s hard at times. Sometimes the suffering becomes unbearable. We can’t see past the veil of pain. We can’t see a way out. We can’t see the hope for a better future. These are the deep, soul changing moments in life we often feel from our messes. We question who we are, we question the choices we’ve made, we question our path, our purpose, our sanity, our decision making process. However, the more messes I experience the more compassion I have for others. It opens you up to feel more. One of my favorite Leonard Cohen quotes is, “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”, sometimes we need the cracks to experience the light.
I recently viewed the documentary “Yoga Is“, Sean Corn is one of the famous yoga teachers interviewed in the documentary and she said something that stuck with me. She said, “sometimes our biggest wounds in life become our life purpose. Who better to help the addict than the recovered addict, who better to help the abused spouse than the person who has been there. Who better in these situations than the person who has experienced it and has the wisdom of being on the other side.” I can have a lot of passion to work with drug addicts, but I’ve never been there, I don’t know what it’s like to be addicted to drugs. However, the person who has entered the darker depths of this can relate, they know and they’ve experienced all aspects.
Danielle LaPorte calls this our service. Allowing our suffering to become our acts of service. When someone else has to walk though the same mess, you can be there.
Sometimes our messes are actually our gifts. In Buddhism the approach to pain is when you’re in suffering, the notion that your agony might have some divine utility helps you endure.