13 thoughts on “The Advantage of Disadvantage

  • January 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    This is an incredibly beautiful post. I have suffered so much loss during the past few years that I feel lost and bewildered most of the time. I hope that I can find some of that gentle wisdom that you mention.

    Reply
    • January 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Pam–

      With time and healing, I am sure you can. Thanks for the comment and for the reading the post (which was actually published under the wrong title that has since been changed, in case you were wondering…)

      Blessings,

      –Will

      Reply
  • January 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I feel just like Pam. It is a great article and I definiitely can relate to it. I suffered a lot of trauma in my childhood and I have suffered as an adult due to it. Just recently I felt like what it described in the article, a very broken person. I also feel the mental health system failed me as an adult.

    Reply
    • January 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Sonjia–

      The mental health service has failed entire generations of suffering, vulnerable people, so you are certainly not alone in your frustration with it. I see some positive changes underway, and there is room for optimism about the future, but many have been damaged by conventional psychiatry, including me. It is natural to feel broken after trauma and its effects on adult development. But it is truly possible to move through that nagging sense of despair and begin to see how hardship enlarges one’s capacity for empathy and provides the insight needed to help others. It’s a difficult, painful road, but there those who travel it make progress over time. Thank you for the comment, and best wishes for continued healing.

      –Will

      Reply
  • January 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Much of my life I have felt as though I have had to run and run just to reach the point at which other people start. For a lot of this time I hoped that by running and running I could actually surpass others by sheer effort. When my (metaphorical) legs gave in I had to slowly give up this hope. I reached a similar realisation to yours. The only thing I had really gained from it all was an ability to empathise with a lot of people that most others ignorantly judge.

    What I think I am only starting to realise is the value of that empathy. Before I thought of it as little more than a booby prize, but as I mature more I am starting to regard it as invaluable.

    Also, quite recently, I stopped fighting so hard to be more; to have a higher status job, and be someone of ‘importance in the world’. Funny enough, this ‘death of ambition’, or simply acceptance, has been critical in my recovery.

    What I haven’t come around to is forgiveness. I understand that logically my mother could not have done better than she did. She was far too damaged. But, I still don’t feel like I can let go of my anger. She SHOULD have done better. If she was going to have children she SHOULD have nurtured them. I’m (still?) not able to forgive peoples’ propensity to pass on their suffering: the desire to hurt the innocent –

    Maybe I will get there?

    Reply
    • January 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      Snow Queen–

      Yes, I believe you will get there. Keep in mind that forgiveness serves the forgiver at least as much as the forgiven. There is a rich literature about it online. For example, you could Google “The Forgiveness Project” for some great guidance. Without a doubt many parents could have and should have done better. To forgive is not to negate that truth, but to move beyond the blockage that chronic resentment causes in mental life.

      You might be interested in this old post of mine. Good luck on your journey.

      –Will

      Reply
  • January 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Wow, that ‘old post’ really did turn my perspective inside out! In particular the allegory. It’ll take some time to assimilate that insight, for it to catalyze real and lasting change (as opposed to this momentary sense of peace). Thank you so, so much for the link.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    dear will, your article so beautifully articulates the psychospiritual awakening process for so many who are fortunate enough to find themselves traveling on this path. thank you in the most profound way for realizing and relating this journey of reality, of genuine hope and healing. gratefully, victoria

    Reply
    • January 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Victoria–

      It’s important that we all share the experience of seeing hardship in a gentler light. We are on this road together. I’m glad you found the article resonant with your own journey.
      Blessings,

      –Will

      Reply
  • January 12, 2012 at 1:58 am

    This was a very beautiful article! I had a difficult childhood, losing my father as a small child and having a mother with mental sickness. I grew up with very poor self-esteem. The situation was exacerbated when I married a widower and had a lot of problems with a difficult step-daughter. My in-laws lived with us for almost 18 yrs of my married life and my mother-in-law would make my life miserable by taunting me most of the time. I used to feel bitter when I compared myself to others who had happy childhoods and who didn’t have stepchildren or in-laws living with them and would rail at the unfairness of it all!

    My situation has improved dramatically since my step-daughter moved to another city and my in-laws are now with my brother-in-law. But more importantly, I have risen above my situation and have forgiven anyone and everyone who has ever wronged me! I have developed love and compassion in my heart and by the Grace of God, I am happy most of the time now. I have developed an attitude of gratitude :-). Any time I start getting sad thoughts, I just think of people living in war-torn, famine-stricken or third-world countries and I immediately start thanking God for all His Blessings and bounties. Practicing yoga on a consistent basis has also helped me a lot.

    Reply
    • January 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Sameena–

      Your upbringing and many years of painful domestic life sound very difficult, which makes your ability to rise above the pain all the more lovely and meaningful. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Warmly,

      –Will

      Reply
  • January 13, 2012 at 3:09 am

    There is a lie in human psych that split him/his into two parts of opposition. Lie entered when truth betrayed. Love and hate, that is two ends of human emotion. When peace is finally created between these two ends within a person, suffering will ends and there will be no need to come back to this temporarily place. Until then who knows how many more times reincarnations needed. Everyone suffers. Only cultivating the truth dissolves this lie.

    Reply
 

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