Pain is the breaking of the shell
Everyone wants to have a better life, yet no one seems to want to go through the changes that we humans need to endure to have a truly extraordinary life. Too many people want to hang onto their past emotional baggage, blame everyone else for their
failures and are too lazy to take their lives into their own hands. It is only through “Growing Pains”, that colloquialism that we all know, that we finally can succeed.
“Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” Khalil Gibran, said in “The Prophet”. The great philosopher, Socrates said nothing would happen without war and pestilence, (i.e. disease).
Pain is required for humans to grow. If you want to understand how much pain is necessary for growth, just ask any mother about childbirth.
Greatness comes from dealing with pain, and allowing it to strengthen us. Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France, in July of 1999. Three years earlier he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs and abdomen. I had watched Lance race for many years in the Tour, and he was never a big winner. However, in 1999, after having faced death and won, he blew away every other great racer and made them all look puny. He went on to win the Tour seven straight times. The pain of fighting cancer had made him stronger than all the other great cyclists in the world. Of course, he would not have beaten the cancer except for the fact that he was a world-class athlete to begin with. Lance Armstrong knew that pain was the road to success, and he accepted that even before he endured cancer.
All organisms get stronger when you try to kill them and fail. In medical realms, we are finding out that the world is running out of antibiotics that can kill our mutated bacteria. The wide spread use of antibiotics, which is a poison to bacteria, has caused bacteria to mutate. The same thing happens when people are exposed to pressure and fight to survive. When the impeachment attempt failed, Bill and Hillary Clinton got stronger. They remain, to this day, two of the most powerful political figures on the world stage.
All around us are examples of how this works. On July 1, 1999, CNN did a fifteen year retrospective on their show, “Pinnacle“. They said if you had bought stocks in the companies founded by the CEOs and multimillionaires featured on the show, you would have made 814% on your money. They ran clips of each of these famous people, and the interesting fact was that they all ascribed their success to the failures and pain that they had
been dealt, such as cancer, loss of family, abandonment, abuse, etc. We only grow and learn from pain and failure. If we survive, it makes us smarter and stronger.
All growth is promoted by pain. Today’s metaphor is “if it doesn’t kill you, it probably makes you stronger.” You better believe this if you are going to have a great life. Since pain and pleasure are received though the same nerve cells, the greater the pain we can endure, the more pleasure we can receive.
Come up to beauty - Ron