“The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

These words ring so true in my heart. The hardships, troubles, and sufferings those have endured pull those hidden strengths buried within a person to the surface. They awaken one’s courage. They bring one’s heroic abilities to light. The human person is capable of amazing things! These often come to life through moments of pain, sorrow, and when our hearts are dragged in the dirt. Such trials can suck one into despair, where one falls victim to their circumstance, their emotions, and their lack of hope. The other alternative is when one chooses to use the situation they are in as fuel for growth, for learning, and for enhancement to their character. They allow their experience to mold their hearts and their minds for a greater good.

When we come face to face with adversity in our lives how often we give in and blame our shortsightedness, our lack of understanding, our lack of strength, and our lack of growth on adversity itself. We cannot bear to accept our own human weaknesses and failure to rise to the challenge of conquering the self, facing our pain head on, and allowing it to refine us. We refuse this acceptance through all sorts of forms of weakness, such as denial, anger, resentment, violence, self-pity, accusation, blame on others, blame on circumstance, unforgiveness, and anything that might give us reason to believe anything but ourselves is responsible for the way we respond to our suffering. We allow our pain to consume our hearts till they harden and harden they will. They harden out of hurt, and hurt people hurt other people. We live in such a broken world. Although it be broken it is full of hurt but valiant people who have the capacity of heroism. Sadly, most do not realize their own power and are enslaved by their own self. For some, they awaken to this strength through affliction, and it is these of the most admirable courage who do not let flames of pain burn them to the ground, but refine them.

I have known a great many of these people and it is these whom I look up to and aspire to live after. These beautiful souls have endured great suffering, have known loss, have faced immense heartbreak, and have allowed their pain to refine them amidst it all. These lives are truly inspiring to me.

As I reflect and look within my own heart’s sufferings I strive to imitate such a life of heroic virtue, where all my pains and struggles teach me and refine me, instead of destroy me and leave me bitter. Through this my awareness of how great my weaknesses actually are has grown. I have learned that it is only by facing them that I am able to overcome them and grow from them. I used to view these painful moments in my life as a negative, a burden, and a hardship that caused grief, suffering, and brokenness. To see through my own discomfort at the value of what these moments could bring fell short of my sight and my heart. It is through refinement that my vision grows clear and I am able to see what good and beauty can come out of such darkness if I will it.

Although my flaws and human imperfections will be a lifelong lesson of humility and perseverance, I am choosing to live a life of refinement. A life full of beauty and messiness, sun showers and firestorms, heartthrobs and heartache, and flowers and dirt thrown in it all! I am opening my arms up wide to a life full of peaches, painful plot twists, Sunday picnics, setbacks, belly laughs, moonlit kisses, and moments that bring me to my knees. A life that makes me jump up and down with happiness and also makes me cry on someone wonderful. A life that makes me smile through the tears, causes me to hug those I love a little closer, and gives me reason to smell the roses. It is through this wild, adventurous, painful, and beautiful life that teaches my little heart to grow, and for this I am truly grateful.