They say no pain no gain. That almost translates to; more pain more gain. Yet if you don’t choose to maximize your potential in a moment you will suffer with nothing to show for it. We don’t choose our afflictions but if you are stung, let it be a sting of inspiration.
A few days ago I was stung by something that looked like a deathstalker. At first I felt the warning shot, a sudden sharp itch just below the calf. Immediately I pulled up my track bottom to examine my leg. Nothing! There was nothing. Then I felt it. The real sting. The initial pain had been like a small spark of electricity had burnt one of my hairs. In this second infliction I felt like a pointy, thin electric wire had been inserted into my limp and was sending shockwaves up the whole leg. Reflexively, I jumped to my feet, ramming my heel down. Shaken off, a green creature fell off from within my trousers and quickly disappeared under my bed leaving me in my alarm. A scorpion in my trousers! Now in my room! What else can cause such a sudden discomfort and immediate call for action?
Lurking in the darkness
Consider this scenario? A certain John went out to see his girlfriend Mary. While they were enjoying a stroll in the evening breeze John took the opportunity to pour his heart to his girlfriend. In his logical mind, John sought to impress his girlfriend by expressing the overwhelming evidence that their relationship was strong enough to withstand all kinds of tests.
Firstly he pointed out how the two of them were very different but still managed to be together. True, they had their arguments but they always seemed to find a way to resolve their conflicts. Another point he raised was how people always tried to break them up. On this, John lined up a number of close associates who had warned him that he was wasting time with Mary. All this advice had seemed logical but John resolutely determined to be with Mary. As a matter of fact, John had plans to cover up for Mary’s weakness and to empower her.
All this while Mary was quiet and listening attentively. At first John was frustrated. He couldn’t tell how his girlfriend was taking it. It wasn’t like Mary to be that quiet. He doubted his eloquence but he was sure that what he was saying was the truth. That thought boosted his confidence. Knowing he had managed to capture the lady’s attention, he did his best to say the truth with impact. He became even more passionate in his speech.
As a punch line John pulled out a nicely wrapped gift and said, “Nothing can break us apart my love.” To his surprise Mary refused the gift. John had been stung. There was an itch on his heart. He probed. He wanted to know why. Then came the sting. Mary immediately broke up with him and disappeared into the darkness. The sting of a scorpion is venomous. A breakup can prove to be that venomous, poisoning the heart and mind.
The bitter sting of truth
While John is still trying to figure it out, let’s consider Mary’s side. She had been stung too. In her heart she knew John had spoken the truth. She also believed he meant no harm. However, she was hurt by John’s perspective. For starters, John only highlighted her weak points without appreciating the qualities that kept them together. That meant they were building their relationship on an uneven plain.
She foresaw a future she would have succeeded but still John would still see her as a lesser person. Also, she had opened up to John as someone who would offer her comfort. While John had been logical in his deductions and plans, he had not been thoughtful enough to shield her from the painful truth. So in John’s attempt to show his passion, Mary discerned a lack of sensitivity that would always come back to sting her.
The bitter truth becomes a sting of inspiration
Breaking up with John would not be enough to comfort Mary from the pain. She had to start expressing herself from a position of strength. The moments of being a victim of circumstances had to pass. To that end she had to step out to kill the scorpion that had attached itself to her. Often times we let the bitter truth be an excuse but let it be a sting of inspiration. Take a moment to reflect on constructive criticism. From there do for yourself what you wish your helpers would do for you. Or at least get help knowing where you stand. That way not only will you appreciate the help you get but also your progress.
There comes a time when you have to turn your discomfort to your motivation. Sometimes you just have to ride the tide. It is better for you to learn the truth and act on it than to burry your head in the sand. So, audit your affairs and start acting today. Get jumping from a sting of inspiration.