History is full of exceptional people finding their way to their greatest contributions during unusually anguished chapters of their lives. We see this especially in the arts, where unprecedented depths and intensity of creative expression often seem to have been opened through great personal turmoil. In various spiritual traditions as well, transcendent insights are often arrived at by passing through episodes of deep personal anguish. All of this is to suggest that anguish itself is not always necessarily the enemy; the question is how to wholesomely navigate with and within it, producing something worthwhile from it, and finding peace and joy in the process.
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“The last couple of days I’ve been reading your last post on your blog. I’m stunned at how wildly inspiring, life affirming, and ‘hands on’ how and what to do it is. Immediately, I felt the authenticity in your voice which allowed for a lot of freedom to release into it. Especially, when I’m living over my head in the quote from your writing that preceded it.
I know each of these – discontentment, stress, anxiety to profound sorrow, rage and despair. I shut down for years and turned all that energy inward. Deep anguish does have a crippling impact, that I do forget. Then comes the numbing effect, ignoring and claiming there’s not enough time.
But lately, these keys are what I turn to. I guess I could say in some ways they are becoming the only options. Staying with them…holding onto that tiny underlying thread of faith and trust, I’ve seen clear and obvious examples of getting back on track. The things you have written in this post have affirmed that. What it’s done is given me dignity. With all my heart…” S.L.