To all the friends I haven’t written to in a long time…

First, thank you to everyone who took the time to ask about my blog and encourage me to start writing again. It’s worked! 

Second, during this downtime, I’ve had time to think through several of my own personal observations, struggles, and subsequent questions. I think that everyone needs moments of reflection and I hope that my time of introspection brings more depth and insight to my posts. 

So, for my first post back, I want to talk about pain….Go big or go home, right? 

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve walked hand-in-hand with pain for many years as it’s touched almost every aspect of my life.

Pain hurts. Pain brings you to your knees. Pain causes you to question everything around you. Pain tears you apart. Pain pushes you beyond boundaries you didn’t even know existed. Pain breaks you.

You’ve probably heard of “yin and yang”. It’s a well-known concept originating from Taoism. I know that you’re not supposed to quote Wikipedia (sorry, high school teachers and professors), but I like the definition that it provides:

“In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describes how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.” 

After walking with pain, I’d like to propose to you that pain is one force of the “yin and yang” idea. The opposite and contrary force to pain?


Pain is where both greatness and growth are forged. Without pain, you cannot grow. When I was younger, I thought that “growing pains” just referred to the fact that it was kind of painful during a growth spurt. Now that I’m older, I’m realizing that “growing pains” refers to not only the pain of your body growing, but refers also to the pain of your character growing. 

Pain and growth can either be the “yin and yang” to your current situation or,  you can just choose to be in pain and not grow.

I’m sure you’ve met people that have chosen to just be in pain. It’s understandable. Pain hurts and sometimes it feels like the only resolution is to spit back in the face of the world that caused your pain. 

However, I’m sure you’ve all met people have chosen to grow during their pain. In fact, history is filled with people who suffered deeply, grew immensely and subsequently, changed the world.

The subject of pain and growth goes way beyond one blog post, article, movie, and book. A lifetime of study could not begin to explain the beauty of the two contrary elements working in tandem. 

“Catch on fire if you must, sometimes everything needs to burn to the ground so that we may grow.” A. J. Lawless

As always, thank you for reading this far,


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