I just found out a good friend of mine is separated from her husband and is likely to divorce. She is in so much pain right now. I find myself wishing I could take away her pain and replace it with peace and joy. Still, I know taking away her pain is not possible, nor would it be good for her in the long run. Call me crazy, but I have come to understand that pain is a good thing.
Look back at your life. At what times did you find yourself growing as a person? Did you grow more when things were sailing along smoothly, or did you grow more when you were struggling in the depths of despair? As I look back at my life, I understand my greatest lessons--my greatest strengths--all came from those times when I felt the most pain: losing my newborn daughter, divorcing and raising three children as a single mom, even escaping my self-made prison of being in a cult. Those times of pain were a wake-up call, prompting me to further action. They have made me into the person I am today, and I am happy with who I have become in that process.
I do feel bad my friend is going through this big change in her life. Still, I can already see she has grown leaps and bounds through this process. She is much stronger, much wiser, much more independent. She is paying the price of pain. Soon she will be a different creature. The butterfly is shedding her cocoon, waiting to emerge more beautiful than ever, preparing to stretch out her wings and fly.