All I ever wanted was to be happy. I wanted to stop hurting. I was tired of always being broken down by life with no hopes of ever being whole. But as I became an adult, I soon realised the necessity of being beaten and broken down by life. I became aware of the great work the things we often label as ‘bad’ in life often achieve in and through us. I started to appreciate the person I have become as a result of all the agonising things I have had to endure through- stemming from my childhood right into adulthood.
But overtime, life had to make me understand as to why painful things often happen to us as individuals and I believe that if we were all to grasp this simple but yet defining lesson, we would begin to all fully embrace life with all its virtuousness and flaws, without miserably longing for one over the other.
Now, imagine yourself as a piece of desolate, arid uncultivated land…
A potential buyer who happens to be a farmer thoroughly surveys you and sees you as a great investment and envisions all the various crops that you would be able to bear on their behalf. The farmer decides to buy you and starts putting in some work on you. The first and primary thing that the farmer will do, would be to plough you through and through in preparation for the desired plantation. In this process, the farmer will often put to use a plough with a strong, thick blade to cut and pierce through you (the soil) and flip you around at 180 degrees so that the nutrient rich soil can be exposed and come on top.
Likewise, we too in life are like the soil and we will (in a sense) be ‘ploughed’ on by the great farmer of life- God. God will often allow us to be cut, pierced and turned upside down by life and we will feel exposed & vulnerable. However, we are made vulnerable so that our truest and most abundant selves can come exposed and be finally revealed.
I can begin to imagine that when the earth is being cut through by the plough, it probably screams out in pain, feels like it is coming to its own end and it also cannot fathom how these continuous ‘wounds’ created by the farmer and the plough would be of good use to it. We too, often respond in the same manner when life constantly breaks us apart. We think we are coming to the end of ourselves and we fail to perceive how such excruciatingly painful occurrences can ever be ultimately for our own benefit. But, we are not coming to the end of ourselves, we are simply coming to the beginning of our greatest potential. We are coming to the beginning of birthing things within us that we never thought we would ever be capable of bringing forth. In getting wounded by life, we are being cultivated to sow and then reap the most beautiful seedlings of our souls. We are turned upside down, 180 degrees, so that we and the rest of the world can come face to face with aspects of ourselves that we never knew were there.
Presently, looking back on my life, I can finally come to a place where I am able to catch a glimpse of the ultimate purpose of the presumably ‘bad’ life experiences I have had to endure through. I am also able to realize, the amazing woman that I am today and the beautiful, warm-hearted individual that people around me have come to enjoy, all came at a great price. Life had to cultivate and plough me through and through before I could grow into the abundant person that I now am. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross summarizes my journey in a quite striking manner:
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
And indeed, beautiful people do not just happen; and we too, will not spontaneously become our most beautiful selves without having to endure through pain. Like the soil that is being ploughed to become fertile soil, we are also constantly deeply wounded by life so that we too can be fertile and bear to the surface the fullness of the seeds of our unique souls in blossoming brilliance.
In retrospect, I now realise that the moment we are born, God is truly like the great farmer who sees our great potential; and throughout our lives, God sets in motion certain life experiences that will teach us crucial lessons, so as to ensure that we are not robbed of fully experiencing our fullest and greatest selves. There are an infinite number of magnificent facets to us that lie latent; and often it requires that life breaks us apart so that the splendour of who we truly are may pour out.
My greatest freedom as an individual has come from the ability to embrace that my greatest wounds are always a place where my most abundant-self springs forth from and that life wounded me to be fertile.