What if! What if we have got suffering all wrong?

My eye noticed a white envelope with neat hand writing on the way down the stairs. It was addressed to me and I could see through the envelope that someone had taken the time to write a proper old fashioned letter! Not a text, or a Facebook private message, or an email, but a hand written letter. I slowly walked to Partridges across the road from the office, using this as an opportunity for a mini break, to self-reflect a little but found myself walking to a spot in the sun and there I began reading the words of a young twenty year old lady I had met the Friday before who had been inspired by a conversation I had with a few of the ladies at the event. What did I speak about? How wonderful and magical and competent the human brain, how limitless and powerful the human mind that it could impact the way the brain worked.

Who was this young lady? She was born three months premature, born in survival mode, and from there she has been in and out of hospitals. She contracted meningitis, and has been in and out of hospitals having repeated surgeries so that she could survive and stay alive. She has struggled all her life, yet despite this, she now uses this experience to inspire others in their struggles. Her intention in writing the letter was to say thank you in that what I had shared that evening in the form of Knowledge and Science which has given her a new framework through which she can now view her life.

I thought about writing to her directly, yet I felt that what I had to say to Hannah could be relevant for many others who are facing challenges in life. You see, this young lady’s experience has caused her to feel isolated and different, yet we all have much more in common with Hannah that we care to admit.

I was out riding the bike yesterday morning, my usual start to most mornings and the following words came to the forefront of my mind. I stopped and took note as I felt that this would be the perfect opening to a future presentation.

What if, what if we have suffering and pain and struggle all wrong? Let’s get one thing straight; life was never ever going to be easy, not for anyone! What we are getting wrong is the idea that our suffering is the exception and not the norm. Suffering is in the very nature of our DNA, without suffering there is no desire to learn, and to grow and evolve and become wise and then knowledgeable and then super-able’. None of us were born with the knowledge to do anything. Learning how to eat, how to walk, how to talk and communicate, how to love and to learn skills that support our survival is a struggle for all of us. Disappointment something that is the common experience for all. We are not weak, we are in fact, strong. This is one of the reasons I find the hard talk of some coaching a little irrelevant, because our disappointments are necessary for our growth and we don’t need to incite shame and the dialogue of failure to inspire us, we just need to reframe our disappointments as essential learnings.

But here is the where the magic is, and it is sitting right here in the very nature of our DNA and the design of our organism’. We are designed to adapt and learning is part of that adaptive process. This is what Neuroplasticity means; the ability that we have to learn and to adapt and to thrive despite our circumstances. The proof of our strength and resilience surrounds us as evidence. In fact, we are that evidence. This young lady who wrote to me is living proof of this resilience, you and I are proof of resilience and this is what we should feel proud of. I am working in a field daily where I meet people with all sorts of challenges and they all endure, learn and overcome.

Life will not get any easier, life will constantly provide us with challenges that we can and do overcome because this is what we are designed to do. Our struggles are opportunities, our errors are compulsory in the learning process and shame has no place as it inhibits our progress. We are good enough, we are great enough. Number 42 from the Sam Knowledge says, To be the best that I can be under the circumstances and conditions is not only good enough, it is great enough.’ And Number 1 of the Sam Knowledge Part II says We are never at the mercy of the circumstances and conditions, but at the mercy of the emotions the circumstances may provoke.’

You can find out more about this inspiring young lady here on her blogs. Hannah is living proof of our incredible resilience.