Wisdom Born of Pain and Desperation

Lost and Confused SignpostThe truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. – M. Scott Peck

The years when I first started moving out of my old life, I can only describe as horrifically painful and scary. I was a young mother who had been told, all of my life, that I was a screw-up and that bad things happened to me because I brought it upon myself.

When I left my marriage, I had just lost my job as my company went bankrupt. I did not know what to do or how to do it. I had no idea what the answers were. I also had no idea what the questions were. I felt desperate and at the end of my rope. The pain was searing and intense and sometimes I could not understand anything. My brain didn’t work, my heart was broken and I felt hopeless and helpless.

I had no idea what kind of life I was going to find…more of the same? All the abusive people in my life told me that I brought all this on myself…how would that change? What would I find?

Incredible fear and searing pain propelled me forward to a new life. I could not go back to what I knew and could not accept where I was. I had to find a new way and a new place and I had to believe that it would get better because I was pretty sure it could not get worse.

I had to keep going, propelled forward by an inner unhappiness and discomfort.

The unhappiness and discomfort turned out to be a gift.

The gift of desperation.

It was in my deepest, darkest moment that I found the energy, the strength and the wherewithal to go forward, to break the patterns I had been in, to get out of the ruts of my “not working” life.

It was my fear that I “brought bad things on myself” that led me to question this and to find answers to stop doing it. I did find that I didn’t bring on bad things but I had to learn to find good things and accept good things. I had to learn to stop being attracted to abusive people or people who could not or would not care about me.

I had to find out what was broken and I had to fix it.

I was desperate to do so. The past was painful, the present was painful. I had to find what wasn’t painful and I had to learn how to live and how to love.

I was so desperate I was willing to do anything. I would leave everything and everyone I knew. I would take my kids and move to another state. To find the answers I would go to therapy, to support groups, to read books, find new friends. I would face the anger and the grief and the fear and work through it.

Once and for all.

It was scary and painful but to build a new life, I could not bring the old stuff with me.

I do not wish the gift of desperation on anyone for I know that it is a painful place to be…but if you have received this gift, this gift that will move you forward, to a new and different place where good things await, welcome it as a gift and understand that it is usually what is necessary to do the work needed for amazing life transformation.

I do not wish on anyone the gift of desperation but if you are desperate and trying to change your life, embrace the gift and know that on the other side of the pain are great things.

You can do this!!!


Copyright © Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

All Rights Reserved No Duplication is Allowed Without Explicit Permission of the Author



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About Susan J. Elliott

Author, Attorney, Grief Counselor, Media Commentator, Motivational Speaker, Relationship Expert, Breakup Coach BA English Mount Holyoke College, magna cum laude, High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa M.Ed., Counseling Psychology, Cambridge College J.D. University of California, Berkeley Licensed to practice law in federal and state courts in NY. Licensed but Inactive in Texas and District of Columbia Creator of the Getting Past Your Past and Getting Past Your Breakup programs, seminars, workshops, bootcamps, videos, blogs and podcasts Author of Getting Past Your Breakup, Getting Back Out There and the GPYP Workbook
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