“Please God, if this is real, and Lou is dead, please let me die too. Right here and right now. Please. I am not strong enough to want to live through this pain.”
That was my prayer just moments after the uniformed soldiers told me Lou had been killed in Iraq.
But God did not strike me dead as I requested, so I got up and stepped into the worst pain I’d ever experienced.
I spent the next few months cycling in and out of suicidal thoughts – from actively willing myself to die, to taking unnecessary risks while driving or horseback riding, to carelessly popping antidepressants and washing them down with alcohol. My body would not allow rest as a rule, and if exhaustion overrode that command, my pain resumed control by sending me visions of Lou in a casket, Lou in a body bag, Lou screaming for help.
From the moment I was told Lou died on June 8, 2005, to the moment I collapsed in another broken heap on my driveway on September 30, 2014, my pain was running my life.
Occasionally I was granted the illusion of control and resilience, but the illusion never lasted and I would always wind up more broken than before.
It took far too many years and far too many traumatic moments for me to finally snap. That day in my driveway, as I flung the phone from my hand and dropped to my knees, was the turning point for me. It was the moment I knew the time had arrived for me to take a hard look at my own accountability for where my life was and take steps to fix it. It was literally the moment that changed my life’s trajectory away from pain – but it had come at a very high cost.
That’s the story and those are the lessons I shared at Marie Cosgrove’s Greater Event in Edinburgh Texas last month. That night I stood on the same stage as one of the most sought after inspirational speakers in the world- literally. He is also the man whose message was among the first I heard when I took that hard look at myself.
Today there are few similarities between who I am and who I was when Pain ran my life.
It was a battle that almost ended me, but which I finally won, and it was amazing to share the tactics I learned with thousands of people that night.
Whether you are still trapped in the power of pain from your past, are facing pain right this moment, or are concerned about pain you will face in the future, the lessons I learned from my own struggles as well as the hundreds of people I’ve interviewed, studied, and learned from will allow you to train your own pain.
I’ve identified 9 principles used by hundreds of people facing extraordinary challenges and massive emotional and/or physical pain. These people all overcame those challenges and flipped that pain into a powerful new purpose.
I shared two of those principles in my talk and I will share all 9 with you if you’d like. >>You can get them here right now
I hope this week’s podcast episode, taken from the live presentation I gave, helps you begin to understand the difference between allowing you pain to control you, and taking the power back from your pain. I hope it helps you take those first steps toward doing so and I wish you all the best as you reveal the purpose you will turn your pain into.