How To Turn Your Pain Into Positive Growth

We all experience pain in life. Heartache, loss, disappointment. Suffering is a part of the human condition.

When you’re in the depths of it, it can be hard to see how you can ever recover from your deep pain. The idea that you might one day be grateful for your disappointment and hurt seems unthinkable.

Yet, we always have a choice. Even in our pain we have a choice to make. We get to decide whether we will take the opportunity and grow, or whether we will let it consume us.

I by no means intend to make this seem simple; it may be the hardest thing you will ever do.

But your pain may also be the thing that pushes you towards your greatest personal breakthroughs.

As Glennon Doyle Melton said recently in her discussion with Oprah:

“Pain is a traveling professor and it goes and knocks on everyones door. The smartest people I know are the people who say, come in and don’t leave until you have taught me what I need to know.” – Glennon Doyle Melton

It is our hurt that can crack us open and let the light in. It is our pain that can help move us towards living a more deeply fulfilling life.

There is a psychological idea known as Post-Traumatic Growth. We are all familiar with its cousin, post-traumatic stress. Post-traumatic growth isn’t discussed as frequently, but it is the concept that explains how many of us take our pain and use it as the energy to grow psychologically.

“Post-traumatic growth is not about returning to the same life as it was previously experienced before a period of traumatic suffering; but rather it is about undergoing significant ‘life-changing’ psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world, that contribute to a personal process of change, that is deeply meaningful.” (Tedeshi & Calhoun, 2004).

Here are 3 things you can do to help you channel your deep pain into an opportunity for your greatest growth:

• Explore Your Feelings
You need to get in touch with your emotions, and be willing to feel them. To understand why you hurt, you have to dip deep into where the pain is stemming from. You may choose journaling, therapy or coaching – but you need to find some way to really explore and understand your feelings.

It is easy to say you are hurt because of heartbreak, but the question is, what part of the heartbreak is really causing you the pain? Is it that you feel like a failure? That you are grieving for a future that no longer exists? Or that you don’t feel worthy of love?

Express your emotions and work through them until you can find their root cause.
Self-reflection and personal understanding is a prerequisite to deeper psychological growth.

• Look for the Lesson
In order to grow from a painful experience, you need to focus your mind on looking for the lesson. This is one way of choosing to have a growth-mindset.

No matter what the situation, you will be able to uncover a lesson if you look hard enough. If you have been faced with an illness, perhaps it can teach you what you need to prioritize in life. If you are recovering from heartbreak, perhaps it can highlight your need to respect yourself more, so that you are not prone to letting other people disrespect you.

Looking for the lesson is about taking your power back. You can’t wallow indefinitely in the pain if you are to step up and grow. Once you’ve identified the root cause of your hurt, you have the power to look for what you can learn from the situation.

• Resolve to Change
Once you can acknowledge what your current situation might have to teach you, you need to resolve to change. Real positive growth must be followed by action. You have to do things differently. This is where your pain can truly turn into your greatest power.

It may be that you re-prioritize how you live your life, so that the things that really matter to you play a bigger part. Or you may resolve to focus on truly deep-down loving yourself before you begin to look for another romantic partner. Your actions will always be so personal to you.

Real growth comes from a willingness to change. You need to do things differently and use your pain as the thing that leads you on your path to growth.

It may be useful to have a coach or other professional help you work through these stages. We can accelerate our growth when we work with skilled professionals who can help guide us.

You can turn your pain into power. If you are willing to work out where the pain stems from, recognize there is a lesson to be learned, and turn your new knowledge into action, you will come through the suffering a brighter and stronger person.



a very important mental hurdle you must overcome to be successful

Good decisions aren’t the ones that always confirm what you already believe to be true. A good decision is what’s objectively best for you and your company.

The most important skill people can have is to explore different points of view and different possibilities. Yet if you ask people whether they are open-minded, they almost always will assert that they are.

  • Close-minded people won’t allow their ideas to be challenged. Open-minded people are comfortable when people disagree with their point of view.
  • Close-minded people are more likely to make definitive statements rather than ask questions. Open-minded people really do believe they could be wrong.
  • Close-minded people care more about being understood than about understanding others. Open-minded people always have the default position to seek understanding through other people’s eyes.
  • Close-minded people lack humility. Open-minded people approach everything from the possibility that they may be wrong.

The first step, according to Dalio, is to recognize these traits in yourself and be aware when you’re operating from a close-minded position. Then you can actively shift to the open-minded option.

One way to continually shift to the position of being open-minded is to surround yourself with people who default to these positions.

The second step is to reframe disagreements from being threats – which our primitive brain will automatically do – to opportunities to learn:

People who change their minds because they learned something are winners, whereas those who stubbornly refuse to learn are the losers…. You should hold your mind while moving fluidly toward whatever is likely to be true based on what you learn.

Sincerely believe that you might not know the best possible path.

Recognize that decision making is a two-step process: First, take in all the relevant information, then decide.

Remember that you’re looking for the best answer, not simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself.

This is key to ensuring that your ego doesn’t get too caught up in the process of making decisions. You don’t need to be the one coming up with the path forward. It’s more important to make the right decision even if the alternative comes from someone else.

NACA Dream

I was inquiring about new rental properties on Craigslist, and came across a weird guy offering 900 for a basement apartment. I declined, then as I’m walking out of shopping area (broad day) in Frederick I have no idea how but I find myself in this young lady’s basement apartment room. She’s showing me around so excited to be renting. Really appreciates her space. Her son 18 year old son sleeps in the climate controlled detached garage 100 feet away, I was blown away that a garage was climate controlled. Like REALLY wow’d. Her daughter was so cute. Started making me think of lael (iPhone corrects lael to kale fyi). Anyways, we are vibing, she’s so cool, I’m sitting on one couch, she’s on another to my left, we’re sharing rental stories when I start talking about this great housing program very passionately (naca) , how she would be a great fit!, then out of NOWHERE, somehow this whole time I notice she’s wearing a NACA T SHIRT, so she knew everything I said!!!!. I’m so confused, Now we’re both all giddy in that euphoric state of mind, I asked how the March on DC went, she said really well. I mentioned I just had a closing in DC earlier that afternoon. Now we’re both in more awe. She gets up to get a drink and says “don’t be hittin on me now, as you can see guys don’t treat me well, she winks at me(she’s a late 30s single black woman with 2 kids, 18 & 7-8~), when she returns from the kitchen with her apple drink(drink not juice- Dave Chappell’s reference), She’s unbuttoned her blouse ever so slightly, but I noticed. It’s obvious she’s trying to cougar me. *I turn away for a second* and say “ …….I can’t, I have a wife, *i slowly turn back around*, whom coincidentally I met through the prrrrrrooooooogram, that’s when she has somehow turned into YOU, Ruth rose, holding SCISSORS ✂️, and says, “I know, I am a tether”, launches at me like viciously like a white walker and I wake up frantically, heart is poundering, what in the actual fuck did I just experience. I had to write this down so now I’m awake at 6:28am, 4/19/19

Compromise VS Synergy

I.Hate. Compromise.

Compromise is defined as: an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. Settle a dispute by mutual concession. Accepting standards that are lower than is desirable.

Compromise is about MAKING CONCESSIONS.

You do this for me, I do this for you, we both get what we want right?


Compromise NEVER WORKS in the long run.

Compromise is 1+1= 1.5 AT BEST. Somebody eventually loses, if not immediately.

Compromise is a band aid to the real problem at hand.

Compromise is another word for mediocrity. I cringe every time I hear the word mediocrity.

Compromise is a sign you’re on the road to mediocrity…

Compromise isn’t about listening and learning from others, it’s about giving in.

Compromise is cheap, quick, and convenient.

Compromise is about reaching a settlement, whether or not it feels authentic.

Compromise is when both parties plan to cooperate so they both can be satisfied and have their separate needs met.

Compromise is exhausting and depletes us of our health and energy.

Compromise lowers our vibration.

Compromise is all too often about accepting an outcome that has lower standards than we want to countenance.


Refusal to compromise is widely considered to be the root cause of political polarization, business battles, and relationship disagreements. However, refusal to compromise isn’t actually the cause of these problems. It’s merely a symptom. The real problem is unwillingness & fear  to tolerate uncertainty.

So….what if everything you thought you knew about compromise was wrong? I can distinctly remember using the word compromise throughout my life. Why? BECAUSE THATS WHAT EVERYONE AROUND ME DID.

We’ve long been told that “good” people meet in the middle. To “seek to compromise”. F that. I seek SYNERGY.


Our collective unwillingness to tolerate uncertainty STIFLES creativity. From what I have read, there are two components of compromise:

-Over-attachment to the literal

-Inability to articulate the conceptual

Over-attachment to the literal blinds people to create creative solutions. The inability to articulate the conceptual keeps people from understanding where the other side is coming from. It prevents them from giving voice to a common purpose.

For example, imagine a couple arguing about whether or not they can afford to send their child to a private college. The wife says, “We should take out a second mortgage or use our retirement funds.” The husband says, “No way, a state school is fine.” They’re both stuck on what they believe to be the best plan. They’re arguing over LITERAL options.

Yet here’s what can happen if one person reframes the conversation from the literal to the conceptual.

Imagine the husband saying, “What I really want is for our child to get a great education, and for us to enjoy our retirement.”

Now the conversation is about IDEALS AND ASPIRATIONS. Instead of arguing about specific yes or no options, the couple is more likely to talk about their hopes and dreams, for their child and for themselves. The conversation feels different BECAUSE IT IS DIFFERENT.

They’ve begun using different neural pathways in their brains. They’re likely feeling more creative. Letting go of their attachment to their fixed plans, at least momentarily, enables them to explore NEW OPTIONS. Articulating voice to their larger more conceptual goals enables them to find a COMMON PURPOSE.

It’s a two-step process – let go of the literal, re-frame around the conceptual. You don’t know where the final solution will come from, and that’s exactly the point. The uncertainty is what scares most people. COMPROMISE IS CERTAINTY.

Traditional compromise shortchanges both sides because it’s based on a literal straight-line model. You give me this; I’ll give you that. I’m on the right side of the line; you’re on the left. We’ll meet in the middle. THIS NEVER WORKS LONG TERM.

It sounds good in theory. But it doesn’t work because it keeps you stuck in the land of the KNOWN. Nothing new is produced, and both sides walk away with less than they desire. Great solutions aren’t found in the middle ground; they’re discovered when people have the courage to pursue higher ground. Great solutions require some level of initial DISCOMFORT!

Instead of a straight line, think of it like a triangle. The lower left and lower right corners represent where you are today. The top, the apex, represents where you want to go. The middle of the triangle, the space between the lines, is fraught with uncertainty. It’s where the messy work of collaboration is done. THIS IS THE DIFFICULTY IN FINDING SYNERGY.

Einstein famously said, “We will not solve the problems of today with the level of thinking that created them.”

Do you think about compromise differently now? I hope so.

We don’t create greatness by compromising in the middle ground. We create greatness by having the guts to wade through the UNKnOWN. The middle ground is safer, but seeking higher ground is worth the effort.

So what is this called?


More specifically, the PARADIGM OF SYNERGY.

Synergy is not the same thing as compromise. REPEAT. SYNERGY IS NOT THE SAME THING AS COMPROMISE.

When properly understood, synergy is the highest activity in all life

synergy is the result created by open communication and positive interaction between others.

Synergy is defined as: the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. Keyword: GREATER.

What is synergy? Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that the relationship which the parts have to each other is a part in and of itself. It is not only a part, but the most catalytic, the most empowering, the most unifying, and the most exciting part. The creative process is also the most TERRIFYING part because you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen or where it is going to lead. You don’t know what new dangers and challenges you’ll find. It takes an enormous amount of internal security to begin with the spirit of adventure, the spirit of discovery, the spirit of creativity. Without doubt, you have to LEAVE the comfort zone of base camp and confront an entirely NEW and UNKNOWN wilderness. You become a trailblazer, a pathfinder. You open new possibilities, new territories, new continents, so that others can follow.

Synergy is empathetic communication on the toughest challenges we face in life.

Synergy is creating new alternatives — something that wasn’t there before.

The very way that man and a woman bring a child into the world is synergistic. The essence of synergy is to value differences – to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weaknesses.

Synergy is everywhere in nature. If you plant two plants close together, the roots commingle and improve the quality of the soil so that both plants will grow better than if they were separated. If you put two pieces of wood together, they will hold much more than the total of the weight held by each separately. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 1+1= 3 or MORE. THIS IS SYNERGY.

As stated earlier, in a compromise, 1+1= 1.5 at best. Everybody eventually loses something. Synergy is not just resolving a conflict. When we get to synergy, we TRANSCEND the conflict. We go BEYOND it to something new, something that excites everyone with fresh promise and transforms the future. Synergy is better than my or your way. IT’S OUR WAY. It’s WE not I, It’s WE not MY.

Reaching synergy with other people is a profoundly valuable, a major achievement in life. The ability to walk in one another’s shoes and create solutions by working together.


Living my life!!!

I’m always looking to shift the paradigms. Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong. Often times we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. We all have things we don’t want to remember, but the thing is, sometimes your mind doesn’t let you forget, if you have something to learn from it.

Patience. Oh patience. Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind. All information has the possibility to cause fear, it is about how we perceive this. As human beings we are conditioned into judging information we are given as either good or bad, I try to take it in solely as information hearing it with an unbiased ear. Then rather than reacting emotionally I am able to respond intentionally.

For me it never gets old. For me, I don’t know what to think, you know… other than I am privileged. I just know that I will be giving back for the rest of my life. I know how hard it is. I have so much respect for so many people. I’ve always enjoyed proving people wrong. I need to let this go. I’ve always been driven more by criticism more than society’s definition of “success”. How do I stay grounded? I was a late bloomer. I struggled a lot in my youth with so many things. I really struggled in the early part of my life. Finding out who I am, and why I am here. So I think that part is in me…. its deep. its there, and its not going anywhere. The foundation of who I was, where I am, where I started… where I’m at now is a reflection of so many things, situation and occurrences that just had to happen. They just had to happen.

Trauma creates change you don’t choose, healing is about creating change you do choose. Only a healed person can heal others. It took me an awful long time to learn that forgiveness is not a gift to someone else, it is a gift to yourself. It is a gift to LOVE yourself. So love yourself, and forgive. Never wish them pain. That’s not who you are. If they caused you pain, they must have pain inside. Wish them healing, that is truly what they need. What is anger? A beautiful answer is, anger is punishment we give to ourselves for somebody else’s mistake. Despite how open, peaceful and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met THEMSELVES.

Perspective. Our own experiences shape us & how we see the world around us. The truth is, I was afraid to feel the pain. Eventually, the pain was so present, it could no longer be avoided. In order to heal, I had to feel. It’s impossible to numb the feelings of sadness, fear, shame, without numbing the feelings of joy, contentment, gratitude. Sometimes you need to be alone to find out who you really are, and what you truly want in life. This is why I lived out of my prius for several months in 2017. We all can learn a lot about ourselves during late night conversations with ourselves. So many shed tears. I realized my eyes needed to be washed out so that I could see life with not only a clearer view, but with divine purpose. Before I could release the weight of my sadness and pain, I first had to honor its existence. I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. Only in the process of fixing myself, I know who I really was. I knew what I was truly capable of. I realized I was suffering not by my past, nor my future. I was suffering from my memory & imagination. I wanted to be loved for who I am, not for who someone wanted me to be. I wanted to show up every day and not only be seen, but vulnerably seen.

Life is just so much better when we focus on what truly matters. Vulnerability matters. GENUINE LOVE creates feelings of warmth, pleasure, safety, inner peace and stability. These are also the loving behaviors you should spread among the people you love and the whole humanity. By living whole heatedly. I’ve always valued relationships that go far beyond small talk, drinking, smoking, gossiping, and going out. I’ve always been someone to cull my inner circle, more than ever now. I want to cry in front of you, I want us to support each other’s lives, and goals. Believe in each other.

Now more than ever, I observe peoples habitual behavior, patterns/cycles. The truth is in their patterns and cycles. Not so much their words. I think I listen to peoples energy more than their words. My intuition seems to be developing at a rapid pace. No one is always busy. It just depends on what number you’re on their priority list. It’s the hard reality. It’s okay to be different. Just be yourself. The right people will eventually find you. They will value you. Don’t change so people will like you, be yourself and the RIGHT people will love you. I’ve never understood this more than I do right now.

Now more than ever, I am impeccable with my word. I try so much to only say what I mean. To speak with integrity, using the power of my voice in the direction of truth & love. I no longer make assumptions. I communicate as clear as possible to avoid misunderstandings. Nothing anyone does is ever because of me. What others say and do is a projection of their reality, not mine. I try not to have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to me. I try my best to be proactive, not reactive. Reacting= giving my divine power away. I wish to no longer give my power away anymore.