I was at the snow hill with my daughter the other day. We were sitting in this beautiful mecca of trees, surrounded by the snow. I looked over at one of the branches and noticed where it had obviously broken, at one point. This is the picture I took of the broken part.

I stared at the knobby part of this branch. It struck me that if someone were to try and break this branch in half, that the part that had been previously broken, would be the toughest part to break. It would break with relative ease in the unbroken parts, but would take a fair amount of work to get the knobby part in two.

We are like the branch on this tree.

We’ve all been broken, at one time or another. We’ve all had to deal with something very, very difficult that has forever changed us. Perhaps you suffered a great loss. Perhaps you sustained an injury. Maybe you lived through or are living through an illness. Maybe someone you loved, left. Perhaps you carry immense guilt for something you did in the past.

Whatever it is, its left its mark, just like the branch on the tree.

But here’s the good news. Like this part of the branch, this experience that changed you, actually created an incredibly strong, almost unbreakable YOU. It formed a wound, whether that be a physical or a metaphysical one, and it remained. But in its remains, it has made you strong; an unbreakable force.

For me, my lengthy struggle with Crohn’s Disease most certainly left this mark. It broke me again and again and again over the course of 20 years. And yet it has been THE thing that has shaped and informed my entire life. My interests, my lifestyle, my empathy, my career, my diet, and my attitude have been completely shaped by this ‘breaking.’ I likely would have made some very different turns along the road, had it not been for my experience with this illness. And I, personally, could not imagine my life any other way.

A dear friend reminded me, not so long ago, that this universe does nothing to you. But it does do everything for you.

Let that sink in for a moment. Nothing has ever happened TO you. It has all happened FOR you. For your growth. For your evolution. For your health. For your love.

And it has continuously made you stronger.

All that it takes to completely change your life, at times, is to simply shift your perspective. You can become a victim to your experiences or you can actually thrive BECAUSE of them.

So go inside and see where you are ‘broken.’ And see that these parts are the strongest and most resilient parts of you. They have happened FOR you. It is up to you what you do with them. You can crumble beneath their weight or you can use them as a platform from which to jump higher than you thought possible.

You already know what they. They are there FOR you. Do something amazing with them today. Tomorrow. The next day. These parts will never let you down. They were planned before you were born and they were meant as your salvation. Don’t let the gift of these parts of you pass you by.

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