When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~ Viktor Frankl 

I recently read about a pill being developed that would erase unpleasant memories, kind of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-ish. Of course I was appalled.  It’s bad enough the American public is seduced by quick fixes to deal with many physical ailments that a simple change in diet and exercise, a reduction in stress, self-love and a little mind/body/spirit elbow grease would take care of.  Now they want to get rid of negative memories?!?!  We’re already a society who over-eats, over-drinks/drugs, over-sexes, over-technologizes, over-works and over-realityshows to avoid what we’re feeling!

There’s a saying that many athletic coaches and trainers use: No pain, no gain. Yes, that can certainly apply to losing 20 pounds or training for a marathon, but it applies to our inner workouts as well.  As humans we like to avoid pain as much as possible, but pain can be a very useful tool if we let it.  Emotional, mental, physical or spiritual/soul pain shows us where we’re out of wack and where attention needs to be paid and adjustments made in order to learn and grow in any area of our life.

To the extent that you are ‘asleep’ is the proportion in which the Universe is going to use some big ‘ole version of its alarm clock to ‘wake you up’ and give you a big kick in the butt to do something about it.  And a kick in the butt doesn’t feel too good, but we all need one now and then to propel us into action. Most of us don’t want to endure prolonging suffering, so the pain forces us to take action. In other words, as I mentioned in the Well & Good.com article I was featured in, we often need to have a breakdown in order to have a breakthrough.

And remember that without pain we wouldn’t know joy.  When we are experiencing something akin to the ‘dark night of the soul,’ think of the caterpillar who thought the world was over just before it became a butterfly, and that ‘it’s always darkest before dawn.’  Sometimes we just need to ‘go there’ – these are the times that are meant to test our mettle and force us to rise up like the phoenix from the ashes in order to evolve into a better version of ourselves – and who wouldn’t want that?

So if you’re feeling like you’re about to crack, have been sleepwalking a little too long, or need someone to push you off that diving board, just Let Go, jump in, what are you waiting for? Give me a buzz and we’ll find the amazing beauty in whatever type of breakdown is occurring in your life.

P.S. For related thoughts on this topic, check out my posts: Fear FactorAnd S/he WasThe Roof is On Fire

P.P.S. In case you didn’t see it last week, I was featured in an article What I Learned Working with a Career Coach now on Forbes.com!

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