A few years ago I was making an introduction between a fairly new friend (who I knew at that time to be extremely busy with a large, young, family, and running his own business as well as volunteering) and a very old friend who was going through a really difficult time and wanted to be mentored by him.
I felt like I had to pre-warn the new friend, Damion*, about my old friends circumstances, because I didn't want him to say yes, but then let my friend down because it was too messy and complicated, or it was taking too much of his time.
Damion told me he was excited.
"I love messy! That's when I get to look back in a few years and see lives really changed."
His comment had a lasting impact on me, and my career.
When I first started out as a nutritional therapist, I was afraid of taking big cases. I wanted easy solves, but as I reframed view, I realised that the only way I could stay excited about my work was taking 'interesting' cases. I was no longer satisfied with the easy wins - in fact, I used to refer those people to other therapists in the area - I wanted big, difficult to solve cases. I wanted to see people's lives changed.
Reframing your perspective can make all the difference in the world
More recently I had a light bulb moment about reframing pain too.
I was at a CBT appointment with my daughter, and they were trying to get her to connect the fact that her tummy ache, hands feeling shaky and legs wobbling before a big event might be signs of anxiety. Our physical body manifests emotions all the time, whether we are making a conscious connection or not.
Even essential oils can be abused in this way. If I'm running and my knee starts to hurt, I'm not going to rub some deep blue on it and keep running. I know I have an old knee injury that flares up on impact, so it's time to stop and rest it. Live to run another day without causing excessive damage.
Reframing pain is important.
I love listening to affirmations and I have a whole playlist of them that I rotate through in the mornings, when I am driving, whenever I need to be reminded of a better perspective than I currently have.
Whatever pain you've been through, whatever pain you're going through, know that it wasn't sent to make you weaker.
Know that it was sent to make you stronger.
Trust that it wasn't sent to break you, but to make you.
It asks you to think of your life as a giant masterpiece of jigsaw puzzles, to complete the puzzle and see the finish, every piece is just as important as another.
If you ask for part of it to be taken away, the puzzle will never work.
On it's own one piece of a puzzle can seem random, and incomplete, but when it's put together with the other pieces it all makes sense. Not being able to see the purpose in your pain right now, doesn't mean there isn't any.
If you give up at the first sign of struggle, you might never get to see the bigger picture of your life.
Without pain and struggle, you wouldn't have strength and character...
...without sadness... you wouldn't have the compassion you have today.
I believe there is purpose in everything, and actually even blessing in everything. Trust that everything will work out in the end, even if I can't see the whole puzzle yet. Which brings me full circle back to the beginning - learning to love the mess, not just for others, but for myself.
Because my greatest trials, become my greatest triumphs, which become my greatest testimonies, which help to change the lives of not just my own family, but every other family I come into contact with.