I’ve received numerous emails or comments from people who have a desire to start a blog or give back in some way, but they don’t feel like they have anything unique to say. They doubt their own abilities and what they’ve learned simply by living.
I remember that for every tough time I went through — every situation where I thought that I was the only one and I would never get out on the other side — being able to see that someone else had gone through the same (or similar) thing and survived made so much difference.
Over time, I realized the most important thing you can do with a negative experience.
Personally, I think the most important thing you can do with a negative life event or experience is use it to help others.
You would be surprised at how helpful your experiences can be to another person. Maybe they are going through the exact same situation, maybe they need to hear an outside perspective, or maybe just seeing that another person has struggled gives them hope to get through. You honestly have no idea what will help someone else.
Hitting my bottom was such a contrast to where I saw my life heading that I HAD to look outside the box for meaning or I’m not sure I would have gotten through it all. Once I got to the other side, I asked myself what the POINT was. Why had I gone through all of that and struggled to pull myself out? The answer was almost immediate. To give back to others. To raise awareness. To show that there is a way through addiction if you put the work in. Not just for those in it, but for family members and friends as well.
This approach is not exclusive to addiction, but to the myriad of negative life events that we all go through at some point in our lives. A quick, but certainly not extensive, list includes:
- Relationship struggles
- Death of a loved one
- Being laid off
- Having a chronic disease
- Failed business
- Eating disorders
- Mental health
- Financial issues
- Coping with an injury
Not only does sharing these hard times help others, it also helps the person going through them. The next time you encounter a negative life situation, take a step back and ask yourself what you can do with it to help someone else or give back in some way.
I’m not telling everyone to go out, start a blog or a YouTube channel, and yell it to the mountains. Tough experiences can be personal, sensitive, and not everyone is going to want to talk in great detail about them. Even if you open up to just one other person, the healing and processing can start.
I’m all too familiar with suffering in silence. It’s a dark and lonely place to be, so next time life gets tough, think about letting some light in. Reach out. Talk. Share your experiences with others, even if you’re not on the other side yet. Think about how you can take your own negative experience and turn it into a positive.
- Write poetry
- Start a blog
- Start a podcast
- Share at self-help groups
- Update others as you work through issues
- Write ANYTHING
- Live as an example of change
What do you plan to do with your negatives today?
Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud.
Also, a big congrats to Heather for winning the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day gift basket!!
- How do you view your negative experiences?
- Have you ever used your experience to help others?