Mar 14, 2016

All Of Your Suffering Was Worth It

I’ve been through a lot in my lifetime. You’ve probably been through a lot of challenging things too. That’s just the nature of being a human being who has lived for more than a few years.

Life is messy. None of us get through unscathed. We all collect wounds and scar tissue throughout our lives, be they physical or emotional.

In the first 25 years of my life I was bullied, heart broken, and spent years in unhealthy relationships. I had panic attacks. I tried to kill myself. I experienced bouts of depression, erectile dysfunction, and phases of sexual compulsivity.

Things didn’t just happen to me. I also did things that I wasn’t proud of.

I broke a lot of hearts, made bad choices, suppressed my emotions, and lived out of integrity for years of my life.

And yet, I wouldn’t take any of it back. Not for a single second. Because all of those experiences made me who I am today. More on this soon, but first, a metaphor for life that I absolutely adore.

The Most Valuable Metaphor For Life Ever

Imagine that, when you are born, your life is a large, empty room.

And every single day, square building blocks miraculously drop down from the sky and get stacked in the exact same place, for all of your days on earth.

suffering, your suffering was worth it, building blocks of character

These building blocks represent the experiences that you go through. Regardless of whether you label them as positive or negative experiences, they are simply experiences. And those experiences keep coming at you, whether you feel ready for them or not.

While the experiences keep coming, early on in life, the foundation isn’t very solid. In fact, it’s just a single, straight pillar, with the surface area of one building block.

Every few years, a large earthquake happens and the building blocks come tumbling down in a big messy heap.

suffering, your suffering was worth it, building blocks of character

In practical/real world terms, this earthquake could be a devastating breakup, the loss of a family member, or sexual/emotional/physical abuse in a relationship. These earthquakes are often some event that shakes you to your core and causes deep pain, sadness, shame, or grief.

It can feel alarming to go from having been ten building blocks high, to now feeling like you’re starting over from nothing. Your building blocks have scattered and you may feel like you’re back to square one. Which, in a way, you are.

And yet, the building blocks keep descending from the sky, just as they always have. They never stop. And they keep being placed in the exact same spot.

This pattern carries on. The building blocks stack themselves in one place, and infrequent earthquakes keep happening over the course of your lifetime.

Over time, the foundation of the building blocks becomes higher and higher. And you don’t feel each earthquake as much as you used to.

suffering, your suffering was worth it, building blocks of character

This isn’t to say that you don’t feel them at all. You absolutely do. You still feel the earthquakes when you’ve been through ten of them, just as you continue to feel the grief of your close friends dying even if you’ve already known other friends and family members who have passed away previously.

You don’t become numb to the earthquakes, you just feel stronger and more resilient because your foundation is increasingly wide.

suffering, your suffering was worth it, building blocks of character

This is life. Experiences keep coming at you. You live them, you feel them. And every now and then, your life gets shaken up by something significant. Everything crumbles to the ground.

And yet, over time, it gets easier to deal with because you become more resilient. You can say with confidence “I have felt a pain like this before, and it didn’t break me… so I will get through this as well.”

All Of Your Suffering Was Worth It

No matter what you have been through, it has made you who you are today.

It has made you stronger, more resilient, and more able to be a pillar of support for others that you cross paths with.

For so many years of my life, I thought that life was just happening to me. I thought that all of my suffering was unnecessary… that the pain I was experiencing was just life being cruel.

I eventually came to realize that life wasn’t happening to me, it was happening for me.

We can only ever experience true compassion and deep empathy when we have been through something similar to the person we are being an emotional support to. And with each life experience that I went through, I was then that much more able to be a supportive healer for every person who was currently suffering in a way similar to what I had gone through. I was able to move from “That sounds awful” to “I’ve been there. I get it. It’s absolutely the worst.” and have it mean that much more.

Seen in this light, all of our suffering is a gift.

Your suffering allows you to become:

– More compassionate

– More empathetic

– Less judgmental of other’s experiences

– More self-aware

– More self-loving and self-compassionate

– More aware of relationships that don’t serve you, and more able to remove yourself from them

– More resilient under pressure

Does suffering automatically allow you to become this way? No. You have to do some healing work on the suffering in order to have it turn to compassion, resilience, and self-love.

Your pain has to be felt… experienced… lived through. Buried pain does not turn into compassion and self-love… it turns into judgment, physical tension, illness, anxiety, and depression.

Compassion comes from healed pain.

Whether it’s immediately apparent or not, your suffering was all worth it.

And the gifts that you gleaned from your most traumatic experiences will only become more apparent with time.

Dedicated to your success,

Jordan

Ps. If you enjoyed reading this article, you’ll probably also love checking out:

How To Manage Stress (Or How I Weathered My Shit Storm Of A Year)

The One Thing To Remember When You’re Dealing With Any Person, Ever

What The Most Compassionate People All Have In Common

How To Overhaul Your Entire Life In 5 Easy Steps

Blog

Related

See All
The 3 Biggest Obstacles Impeding Men's Development Today
Jun 15, 2020
Jordan Gray
The 3 Biggest Obstacles Impeding Men’s Development Today
If you’re a modern man, you’ve probably noticed how hard it can be to make real progress on your most significant goals. Do you feel like nothing is changing in your life, despite having good intentions? Or like you’re just crawling along in first gear, and not feeling enough traction or aliveness? Or...
Continue Reading
What Secrets Are Keeping You Sick?
Sep 22, 2018
Jordan Gray
What Secrets Are Keeping You Sick?
An often passed around quote in 12 step groups is “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” And I believe this to be true in the most literal sense. (My opinion aside, new research shows that keeping secrets has a significant negative impact on health and well-being) When...
Continue Reading
Why It's Easier Than Ever To Stand Out From The Crowd
Jun 4, 2013
Jordan Gray
Why It’s Easier Than Ever To Stand Out From The Crowd
We live in a society of instant gratification. There is always an easy way out or shortcut to take advantage of.  Men are being encouraged to do the bare minimum to achieve result in their lives.  And this trend is negatively affecting modern masculinity. The masculine in you thrives off of being...
Continue Reading
The Ultimate Guide To Attracting A Partner That Aligns With You
Jul 16, 2014
Jordan Gray
The Ultimate Guide To Attracting A Partner That Aligns With You
As much as my books and blog posts largely focus on how to be the ultimate relationship partner, I get asked by men on a daily basis how to meet and attract a quality relationship in the first place. Without further ado, here is what I have learned through 15 years of serial monogamy. While getting...
Continue Reading
Jordan's Top 10 Sex & Relationship Articles Of 2015
Dec 4, 2015
Jordan Gray
Jordan’s Top 10 Sex & Relationship Articles Of 2015
Happy almost 2016! Today, I want to do something a little bit different. This is a round up of all of the best articles I've written over the past year. I did something like this two years ago, and I thought it was time to bring it back. So without further ado... Here are my top ten most...
Continue Reading
Why Entrepreneurs Need To Invest In Their Relationships
Mar 10, 2014
Jordan Gray
Why Entrepreneurs Need To Invest In Their Relationships
How many books have you read in the past year on business? Have that number in your mind? Alright, hold on to that. Now, how many books have you read on intimacy and relationships? If the number is more than a 2:1 ratio in favour of business books, you might want to seriously re-consider your...
Continue Reading