Thinking Out Loud

I think out loud. It is how I process information, solve problems, organize my day - you get the idea. Some might call this 'talking to myself' but my Grandma, may she rest in peace, would call it "an interesting conversation with a very smart friend." I've always embraced her vision on this topic. 

Over the weekend I watched the Tony Robbins Documentary currently available on Netflix I am Not Your Guru. Tony, at one point, is coaching an audience member who has a difficult relationship with her father. He tells her to call him and thank him for all the gifts he has given her. Huh? Thank her abusive, addict father for what, exactly? To my relief she had a puzzled expression, too, so Tony expounded. 

When you have someone in your life that causes pain and suffering you can't over look the good they have also done and given you. I'm paraphrasing here, but, his point was you don't get to bitch, whine and complain about someone unless you give them credit for the 'good stuff,' too.

I was blown away by the next exchange unfolding on my TV screen. Essentially the attendee pushed back - her father never gave her anything good. She walked away from him because he was so toxic and now she was damaged, hurt and scared. Again I'm paraphrasing, but Tony replied she got a great lesson about how to tell someone toxic to fuck off.  That, walking away and not looking back - made her strong. I think he even called her a tiger. He went further to note her Mom (who was attending with her - how cool is that?) taught her to say fuck off and walk by modeling that behavior and thriving without the dick. And yes, he suggested she thank her Mom for that gift and the countless others she gave, too. 

Talk about a shift in perspective.

Walking away is a gift. 

Pain is a gift. 

Being broken is a gift. 

We don't automatically see those gifts. They aren't pretty, they don't make us feel good and they surely are not what we want. But damn if Tony Robbins isn't spot on - they are gifts. If we don't have to overcome we don't get to grow. Without challenges we stay put, stagnant, rot in place. Challenges force us to grow. Challenging people force us to consider our own worth and set strong boundaries.

Today consider the people in life who challenge you. Make a list of the gifts borne from that challenge and reflect on the ways you've grown. I have been since Sunday night, and I suspect I will be doing it for a few more days (at least) to come.