Credibility and Pain

August 13, 2019

Janice Stone

Have you ever asked why something HAD to happen to you? What was the purpose of pain you went through?

There are a gazillion books out there on pain and suffering.  This post is not to explain why we suffer or why bad things happen to people.  That is a whole other topic.

I do however want to highlight one important point about pain, trauma, suffering,and heartache.  

Walking through pain gives us credibility.  Others believe us because we walked it.

Have you noticed that you find yourself in conversations with people that have walked a similar journey to you?  Those that have had a cancer diagnosis and treatment suddenly find themselves meeting others who have also walked through cancer.  They have empathy and wisdom to give, that those who have not experienced cancer or disease, could not give.

I have been surprised how many times I have walked away from a conversation that had to do with divorce, and usually specifically with the court system or emotional abuse and thought “That’s why I went through that!”. I was able to give very clear and helpful answers that, had I not walked my journey, I would not have been able to give. I did not go through a lengthy court trial, but I did need the courts to enforce strong visitation and financial parameters.  As it continued, my lawyer was amazing at helping me write up the papers but encouraged me to file the papers on my own and do whatever I was able to do to save money.  He also was great at helping me determine what to give up, to get what I needed.  
I needed legal help with healthy limits around visitation, so my children and I did not have to sit for hours in a Tim Horton's parking lot only to have a no show and head back home.  I needed legal enforcement financially for a time to protect healthy emotional boundaries.   My journey, the decisions I needed to make, and the unhealthy emotions I was working with have enabled me to have answers to women during a very emotional and confusing time. It gave me credibility and understanding.  My journey has also given me a discernment that I am not sure I would have otherwise. I would not have chosen my journey, but I choose my response.

I have a dear friend who lost her mother much too early to cancer.  She walked the journey of caring for her mother while raising young children.  I have watched her and heard about how she can enter someone else’s time of grief with clarity, empathy and understanding where I would be unsure and hesitant to know how to help.  She knows what they need and how to best approach it.  She can say, “I know how you feel”, and they believe her and find rest and peace in that.  She often doesn’t even say anything, but her actions can bring an emotional support and comforting reassurance that things will be ok.

We have each walked different roads.  The diversity in what we walk though speaks into the diversity in helping as well.  What we walk through is where we can help others.

Our pain gives credibility. Others can believe us because we have walked it.

What have you walked through that you can use to help others?  Is there a journey and understanding that you have that can speak clearly into someone else’s journey?  They can believe you because you walked it.

You have an ability to help, guide, and comfort, that is unique to you.  You were made with purpose, for a purpose. How can you use your journey to help others through theirs?