I was listening to the morning conversation on 98.7 AMP radio, and they were having a mock court session. On one side, two of them believed it’d be great to live in a Virtual Reality (VR) world — a “Matrix” of sorts. The other side disagreed. And their argument was as follows:
If you are able to escape to a VR world, to change the things around you that you don’t like, you aren’t able to develop any empathy. You need to FACE your struggles, head-on, in order to grow!
And, I have to agree.
There was a time when I’d have wanted to be able to escape to an alternate reality — one where I liked the people around me, and could alter things to suit my own desires.
As I have grown and gone through some hard experiences, however, I have come to appreciate the beauty of the struggle. Honestly, the things I’ve gone through have shaped who I have become — and am still becoming.
I used to want to go back and undo a lot of the things I did. Maturity & time, though, have taught me to appreciate the lessons I was given through those things.
Of course, no one is appreciative of their struggles as they are going through them! It’s human nature –our default– to want to AVOID pain and struggle.
But like the butterfly who must struggle to break free of its cocoon in order to strengthen its wings, we, too, need to go through hard things in order to learn and to grow in character.
// “Without struggle, there can be no progress.” ~ Frederick Douglass //
Struggles also — as the radio hosts shared — help us to be empathetic; to be able to relate to others who are struggling, and to be able to say, “Hey, I’ve been there. I get it.” Our trials and our pain can become purposeful when they help us find compassion for our fellow human beings.
So, learn to embrace the hard times. Know that they’re only temporary, and that — if you’ll let them — they can make you stronger, and better able to help those who are going through similar things.
// “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” ~ Kelly Clarkson //
This is a story that I heard many years ago, and found online recently. It highlights the value of perspective … and the fact that mindset plays a big part in the choices we make!
As my friend was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. My friend saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.
“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size of rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” My friend was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
How many of us are being held back by old, outdated beliefs that no longer serve us? How many of us have avoided trying something new because of a limiting belief? Worse, how many of us are being held back by someone else’s limiting beliefs?
Life, Unleashed is dedicated to helping you see that –at any time– you can BREAK FREE! You are never without choices. Just like the elephants, God has given us great power … but, we have been “conditioned to believe” that we are limited in what we can do. Satan wants to keep us stuck. That’s how he “kills, steals, and destroys” our lives, and our futures. It’s time we WAKE UP and remember who we are.