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Nothing Bad has Ever Happened to You

“We acquire the strength we have overcome” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

every cloud has a silver lining Nothing bad has ever happened to you. For most people, a statement like this will prompt them to do either one of two things.

Either they will pause, smile, nod and agree because after some reflecting they find that this statement is in fact true, or they will immediately be offended, defensive or sometimes even get angry and start spouting off the 5-10 bad situations that have happened to them that month alone.

A person’s knee-jerk reaction to this statement may signify something much deeper than who sees their glass as half full and who sees it as half empty.

It may be an indicator as to how attached they are to their “story”, their past, or even just negative emotions in general.

When we become so attached to a past trauma, or negativity, that we use it as a part of our identity, we run the risk of becoming addicted and dependent upon the negative emotions to establish our sense of who we are.

“A sense of suffering is a small assignment when compared to the reward. Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it.” – Max Lucado

The concept of becoming addicted to negative emotions or suffering may sound absurd at first, because who would choose to become addicted to something that makes them feel bad?

However if you form your identity as “I am the person who many bad things have happened to,” or “I am the person who dealt with this trauma,” or “I am the person who had such and such terrible experience that made me who I am today,” your sense of self starts to depend on the negative story in order to reinforce your sense of self.

light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnelWhen your sense of who you are is formed around a past traumatic experience, you may feel defensive against anything or anyone who threatens to debunk or negate your “story”. In order to protect ourselves from our mind building up a story about a past event, we must first look at how it all happens in the first place.

When something happens to us that we did not plan for, our mind creates a story about the situation through our thoughts. The story we create will determine whether we label the situation as “good” or “bad”. Good situations get filed under the “things that have gone well” file, while perceived bad situations get filed under the “things that have gone badly” file.

However, true wisdom comes from knowing that no one situation is unequivocally good or bad. If you take a moment to think back on any given good or bad situation, it is guaranteed that you can find at least one bad thing that has happened due to a “good” situation, or one good thing that has happened because of a “bad” situation.

This exercise alone proves that the statement is actually true.

Nothing bad has ever happened to you. When we look at situations from a broader perspective we are able to see that there is in fact a silver lining to every cloud. The only thing holding us back from seeing this silver lining is our ego or sense of identity.

How attached we have become to our story will determine how fiercely the ego will hold on to its judgment of a situation.

The stronger the hold the more protective and defensive we get in trying to protect our story and identity at all costs. In order to avoid living in a past reality over and over again in our thoughts, and become who we desire to be in this present moment, we only need to adjust one thing…how we process emotions and feelings.

“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” — Viktor Frankl

Yes it is true that an experience we’ve had may have made us feel hurt, sad, angry, depressed, frustration etc… However, feelings, like situations, come… and they go.

As long as we bring awareness to the feelings, and allow them to process to completion, there is never any reason that we have to live with past hurts over and over and over again by retelling our sad story to ourselves through our thoughts.
turning wounds into wisdom
Feelings are merely a representation of how our brain has chosen to process a particular event. And though they feel extremely real at the time, feelings and emotions do not equal truth.

Our feelings help reinforce our perspective on an event and can even manifest outward into our physical body, which makes them feel even more real, but a shift in perspective is all a person needs in order to not become attached to a story.

It is important to remember that we shouldn’t judge the feelings themselves, nor should we avoid them and pretend they are not happening, but rather we should feel them completely, and use them constructively.

When we feel the feelings to their completion we are able to move past them. We discover the light at the end of a tunnel and more often than not feel better at the end of a traumatic event rather than worse. It is at this point we are able to rewrite our story.

Instead of letting the bad event define who we are in this present moment, we start seeing ourselves as someone who dealt with a less than desirable situation but was able to take the good from it and move past it. Instead of being a victim, we allow ourselves to be the victor.

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Silver lining

Nikki Sapp
Nikki Sapp
After a synchronistic turn of events led her to receive a "oneness blessing" in 2011, Nikki Sapp experienced a huge shift in her awareness and an awakening of her consciousness. Thus started her spiritual journey. As time transpired, it became apparent to her that her talent for writing and communication would be how she could give back to humanity and help others who were also experiencing a spiritual awakening. Guided by love and service, she allows her body to be the vehicle by which the universe speaks to others through her writing.

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Brandon Brown

What if there’s a hurt that started in the past, but stays with you constantly, and will never go away? What if the events that have happened that made me who I am today are not what I wanted? What if I became worse than I feel I was before? What if the only learning and growing I can do is learning to cope with an impossible situation? What if the only way to face something is to bury it as deep as possible? Not everything that has happened to me has been good, and for some of those things,… Read more »

Deborah M. Benson

OK. I have had Parkinson’s disease for the last 7 years. I applied a similar philosophy to it as I came around to accepting it and what I had to do, the changes I had to make, in order to have a good quality life. It worked, perhaps too well. I came to appreciate life for the first time, enjoying it in the moment and savoring every day the sun rose for about two years now. I recently discovered that I have advanced breast cancer. O. K. So I’m sitting here trying to find the silver lining to dying within… Read more »

How can I put this, Im actually pretty lucky in most aspect of life. But there is one thing that doesnt go away, trauma Ive had for the last ten years. My daughter got stolen from me ten years ago, im not gonna go into details but currently she has been put up with a foster family from some cult. Legally I cant do anything about it, I cant even prove that I own the kid. So putting it in the past doesnt work always, yes I could forget about her but by some bizarre reason I still shoulder the… Read more »

Kim Frame

I believe that no growth comes from an easy passive life, this is why I am thankful for (what some would consider) the terrible moments of mine. I have been abused, I have been neglected, I know what it is to be hungry, I have buried a child and I have been alone, very alone. In every single instance…. I was brought closer to the peace with the world that I have now. I am more thankful, I am more accepting and I am more loving.

I can see how this is true for me personally (even tho some “bad” or at least very difficult stuff has happened to me…. )But i cant say this is always true. War zones bust thru this like concept like the Kool Aid pitcher. Auschwitz, kidnapping slaves from Africa, Sierra Lion right now, Bombing the Gaza Strip… Im sorry. That is where i lose it with this concept. Not all things that happen are good. Some of those things are very horrible. The fact that the sufferers can put a spin on it that lets their soul rise still is… Read more »

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