Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; 
the most massive characters are seared with scars.
Khalil Gibran

ocean pier sunsetLike you, I often wonder how to make meaning out of the many struggles we experience as part of the human condition. Given the various tragic events that are occurring both in our country and around the world, it seemed important to use this newsletter as a reminder that even at the worst of times, our souls are here to evolve.

Nobody likes to see others suffer, and no one I know has escaped the human condition without at least a few scars. Although I’ve never ascribed to the concept of “no pain, no gain”, it is often our toughest challenges that allow us to move forward. In essence, we become “seasoned” by our experiences and with each trial we face, we are given the opportunity to choose whether or not we will overcome the task at hand. It is only when we allow ourselves to become immobilized and mired by what is going on in our lives—or in the world around us—that we cease to grow.

person pushing rockIn my book Soul Health, I used the term “inertia” to describe the force within us that drives our evolution. To many, this word means “to do nothing or remain unchanged”. The other usage of the word emphasizes the energetic properties of something “which continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless that state is changed by an external force”.  In other words, our soul’s most natural state is that of growth and evolution—we are meant to continually evolve until we allow something to get in our way of our rightful growth.

First, it is true that each event impacts the collective experience of all individuals. Secondly, it is true that we are meant to learn from each other’s challenges. Finally, it is also true that no good will come from allowing our evolution to cease in the midst of tragic events. It is often in the presence of pain and chaos that our souls become seasoned with the substance that either makes or breaks our spirit. If we allow our own or others’ tragedy to mire us and stifle our growth, then we are not honoring the natural tendency of infinite evolution.

For instance, had it not been for my father’s debilitating accident when I was nine years old and the subsequent aftershocks that affected all aspects of my family, the Soul Health Model would have never been born.  Although it wasn’t until after I published my book twenty-four years later that I realized this, it was my own witnessing of a broken human condition that allowed me to understand the deep impact that tragedy can have on one’s soul, not to mention those around them. In retrospect, I began observing the human condition soon after my father’s misfortune and later developed a model that would pave the way to radiant health.  Ironic?  Perhaps.  A sign of conscious evolution?  Absolutely!

So, when you find yourself witnessing others’ pain or when you experience your own, pause for a moment to recognize that each challenging event will eventually provide an opportunity for growth.  When you become immobilized by the nightly news, ask yourself, “Will this help me move forward in the future?” If you become overwhelmed by reading the newspaper headlines, perhaps it is time to put the paper down and, instead, make a list of how you can be of help to someone else today.

Our conscious evolution requires us to take into consideration the good, the bad, AND the ugly aspects of life.  Each is here to inform us of our next steps to growth.  Sometimes we just need to pause long enough to take stock of our real-life education and embrace the idea that our souls are becoming seasoned along the way.

Viktor E. FranklHolocaust survivor, Victor Frankl, went on to become a renowned neurologist and psychiatrist despite the heinous circumstances he endured.  He stated, “Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own.”  Of all people, he knew first hand that becoming a victim to the human condition was not an option.

How will you use what is going on around you to deepen your understanding of the human condition? In what ways will life’s circumstances season your soul?

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