Adversity introduces a man to himself. -- Albert EinsteinFeelings. We all have them. Being human is a messy business full of joy, happiness, pain and sorrow. Sometimes we feel like we are on top of the world, other times we feel like the world is on top of us. The fact of the matter is, no feeling lasts forever.

I’ve been struck this month by the amount of turbulence that we experience in our lives simply because we are humans having a human experience. The road before us isn’t always smooth, and we have choices to make. Some are painful. Some are hard. Some seem hopeless. These hard times, however add to the very essence of who we are and what we have to give to the world.

Every experience we go through can be used to help someone else. Often, our darkest moments are the very things that end up lighting the path for others when we have come out the other side and are brave enough to share our experiences. The situation that brought us immense pain can be the life raft that someone else needs to make it through. There are no mistakes.

Connectedness. Vulnerability. Transparency. This is what humans crave. We want to know that we aren’t alone. We want to know that there is someone else who has been through the horrible thing that we have experienced or even done. Sharing our stories is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to others. Stories are powerful and can release our shame and guilt, leaving us ready to live lives where we can experience true freedom while being used to our fullest.

Your painful divorce, share about it. That affair, someone needs to hear your story. Your child with autism, help someone else navigate the waters. The abuse you went through, let someone else know there is hope. The broken home, neglect, alcoholism, violence, assault, suicide attempt, poor medical diagnosis, loss of a loved one, and your darkest moment can all be used for good. Your trial can become the greatest contribution that you make in the world.

Adversity is a gift. Don’t short change yourself by staying silent. There is someone who can benefit from your experience. When we speak up, we lessen our burdens and others carry them with us and even help us to let go. I encourage you to step out of the dark, into the light.

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