A friend of mine pointed out last week that there are a lot of "damaged" people walking around.  I have been pondering that a lot lately, and I must admit it has me kind of down.

So many people in so much pain.  Why?  Why do we have to suffer?  Because it is our lot in life.  That sounds awfully trite, but it's the thought that came into my head so I wrote it down.  And then this one came.  We must suffer to grow.  Without the suffering, there is no challenge.  Without the suffering, there is no need to change, to evolve.  We have a choice.  Do we rise above the challenge, and use it as our catalyst to propel us into something bigger and better?  To help us accomplish whatever it is that our soul is longing to experience?  Or do we let it consume us?  Eat away at us from the inside, until there is nothing left but a hollow shell, incapable of feelings or actions.

Most times the "damage" we suffer comes from something (or someone) outside of our immediate control.  Although we may not have control over the original incident, we do have control over how we choose to let it affect our lives.  Do we use it as a crutch?  As an excuse for never taking responsibility?  Do we let the fear of being hurt again consume us so that we can never reach out?

Or like the chick in the egg, do we take the chance that there is a beautiful world on the other side of this blackness that envelopes us.  Do we have the courage to break through the wall separating us from our destiny; or do we stay inside this shell and die from lack of nourishment?  Do we stretch and grow like a flower bulb in spring, reaching for the warmth of the sun?  A sun that isn't yet visible  but our instinct tells us that it is there, just waiting to be discovered.  Or do we shrivel and die like an unpicked grape on the vine.

Do we rise above the "damage" or let it consume us?  Each one of us must make that choice for ourselves.  There is no right or wrong, only what is best for you.  Your soul knows the answer and can help you make the choice.  Let it speak to you.  And then listen.

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