Today I reconnected with a friend I have not been in contact with for 30 years. 30 years! It seems such a long time, and yet, its passage seems instantaneous when viewed from a distant vantage point.
When I heard his voice, I was immediately transported back to a youthful time. My career was still under construction and adulthood - well, it teetered somewhat out of balance. His voice had not changed – not one bit. I was surprised by that and curious about the sudden and unexpected reconnection. As the former boyfriend of my roommate in university, the conversation began with a birthday wish and moved into a sharing about recent and painful life events. I understood his pain, but more than that, I understood how to “grow through it”.
Painful challenges push our edges and help us to grow into the greatest version of ourselves. The adage that "life does not happen to us; it happens for us" captures this understanding. Every experience can either help us to grow or crush us, leaving us bewildered and lost. To give our power over to the forces external to us, believing ourselves perpetual victims, limits our capacity for healing and restricts our access to the very gifts that we all possess for creating the life we want. We can choose how we "be" with events that can seem at times impossible to recover from. We have more power than we realize.
This is, I believe, a truth that can only be understood through years of living with change and challenge. I had not understood this when I first knew my friend. I know it now. And so, it becomes, for me a reminder of the value of my years and the understanding that they alone, have helped me to find value in the painful events of life.
I hope that my old friend comes to understand this too. Life is too short to live anything less than the fullness we were born to manifest.