This is definitely a question that I have asked once, or twice, or a thousand times.
I asked "why", death after death that I experienced. Why did I have to experience so much death, and of the people that I loved the most!? Why did I have to endure the abuse that I experienced? That was NOT fair! I wailed and wailed to my counselor about how life's cards had dealt me too hard of a hand. I was not prepared to face all of the tragedy that I had. I had experienced too much by the age of 17 and it then proceeded to continue after that. It wasn't fair! Hadn't I paid my share of pain?
Have you been here?
I knew that I wanted to be a counselor since high school. It was something that I was passionate about from the get go. I was the go-to for those around me and I was so fascinated with hearing others stories. I loved sharing life with people. But I didn't realize the impact that my own story would have on my career. After pursuing a Bachelors and then going onto my Masters, I knew that I was moving in the direction that I was supposed to be. I began to realize that I had experienced all of the experiences that I had, and gone through all of the pain that I endured for a reason. I was meant to use my own pain to empathize with someone else's pain. In being able to empathize, I could offer support in a way that others might not have been able to. Finally, I knew that what I had gone through had purpose and was not for nothing. While I still wish that I would not have had experienced those things, I know that I have been able to help others through their journey because of it all. My story finally had purpose! This brings an aspect of healing that cannot be brought about in any other way.
Sometimes it feels like life is giving us the short end of the stick. Sometimes it feels like we are just meant to live in pain. But sometimes there are blessings in our pain. I know, that doesn't feel good... It doesn't feel right.
It is so easy to just want to be miserable and hate what life has handed us, but there are so many people in this world that are hurting and feel so alone. At one point in your journey, I am sure that you felt the same way. How did you endure it? Did someone else come along side you? Can you do the same for someone else?
I will forever say the support that I received from my counselor changed my life. She showed me empathy and support in a way that no one else could and she talked with me through the muckiest of my muck. I will forever be grateful. I feel that because someone else was willing to do that for me, the least that I can do is come along side others who are hurting and support them in the same way that my counselor did.
It would be easiest to get discouraged by the trials and tribulations that life throws our way. Easiest to become disabled by the pain and just give up. But your life has a purpose, and maybe that purpose is to use your story to help others. Unfortunately, we are not alone in our trials and tribulations. Others may need our support, just as we needed support from others during our time of need.
How can you use your story to bless someone else?
Brittany Wingfield, MS, LPCC