Imagine an open room filled with computer equipment.
At the center of the room is a big red button.
As you read the instructions on the top of the plastic housing over the button, you learn that this button is special.
It has the power to erase every difficult thing from your memory and experience.
Every tear, every drop of blood, every heartache, every death of a loved one.
Would you push it?
While we’re going through something difficult most of us may be likely to say that we would. There’s nothing wrong with that nor with still wishing that our difficulties had never happened to us. And what some of us have experienced is so deep and so dark that we would not hesitate to push such a button. I do not mean in any way to marginalize the experiences of anyone.
But for many of us who don’t have to go through the deepest waters of life, I’m not so sure we’d push the button.
Think about your past for a moment.
When was the last time you cried so hard you couldn’t see through your tears?
Can you remember your greatest physical pain?
What about your deepest emotional or mental pain?
Now, what do you remember after the pain was over? Think maybe a year or two afterward. Did life seem a little better, even than it was before your trying experience?
Sometimes we have the luxury of choosing our pains-we workout, we choose a demanding career or to start our own business, or we decide to have kids.
But when life throws us those inevitable sucker punches, what are we to make of it?
Life teaches us lessons that we need to learn, just when we need to learn them, which is often when we’re not ready.
You weren’t ready for the last time something happened to you that made you sob uncontrollably. But that experience changed you and made you who you are today. It allowed you the opportunity to make a difference in another’s life, even if you never knew it. It changed you to allow you to have compassion for others who have been through or who are now going through the exact same thing.
Would you have any of that without your difficult experiences?
Could you, in all honesty, look at yourself and say that you would really be better off without all of the hard things you’ve been through?
It may be a hard pill to swallow.
What you have been through has made you better. It’s allowed you to make the world better by being a light to others going through the same things. Even those who are not experiencing the same things may see your courage through it all and be filled with courage themselves the next time they have to go through a similarly trying experience.
What is that experience worth to you?
Would you ever push a button to make all of that growth go away?