Last January, I was asked to offer a contributing piece for a book which was focusing on the topic of drawing inspiration after pain. I wanted to share some of what I contributed.
A Contributing Article
After writing an essay-style paper on what draws out my passion, inspiration and strength in life, I decided that it's simply not going to be that easy.
Life isn't an essay.
It can't be planned out with chosen key points, which we limit our time reflecting on. The unpredictability of being alive, is what life is. It's an unpredictable ride that walks us down an unknown path that can have us crawling to one chapter, and sprinting to the next.
We can't have the ability to see whats worth living for and appreciating if we haven't first seen what's dark. Whether we ourselves cause our own pain or it has come from another uncontrolled source, there is always a way to draw beauty and peace from any experience.
Some people believe in a God, some are spiritually connected to the universe, and some live without a view or opinion of the unknown. If you were to ask me, I'd tell you to step outside, look out of your window, listen to the sound of a piano, the echo of an opera, or the laugh of a child. Pay attention to what surrounds you and ask yourself how it could have possibly come from a force that isn't greater than ourselves.
We're naturally curious because we're human. Since our creation, we have been trying to understand and figure out life and death, hoping that death isn't really the end of our journey. One thing that inspires me to live my life to its fullest is being able to let go and allow myself to not have all of the answers. Music, art, falling in love, giving birth to my children, and doing my best to contribute to the better of my own species and the others living on my planet have all been my inspiration to continue living after my pain.
Experiences, good and bad, happy and sad, all give us wisdom and even more of an ability to live with purpose. Helping others is a great way to live with purpose. When I was down and in my darkest of days, I noticed that helping others in my same situation, even by offering words of advice or a lending ear, gave me a strong sense of purpose and a desire to continue living a meaningful life.
One of the most difficult struggles I've had to endure is that of loss. Loss can leave a permanent scar that doesn't ever go away. I've learned that it is possible to turn that scar into a message of hope and recovery, though. People all over the planet experience loss every second of every day. Whether it's the loss of a parent, a breakup with a boyfriend/girlfriend or the tragic loss of a child, we are never alone. We're here to learn from and support each other, and it's okay to not always have the answers. If we know that we are doing our very best in any given moment, that's all that we can ever ask of ourselves.