This process can throw us into a deep despair and questioning of the meaning of our lives. However, out of our greatest pain, we can become more full human beings. With a heart cracked open to both our own and the world’s suffering, we paradoxically open ourselves up to a deeper experience of joy and meaning in our lives.
Personal tragedy can call on us to make some of our greatest contributions to the community, sometimes through, expanding the depth of our creative expression, other times through leading us to throw our heart and souls into some important cause.
Artists have always been able to create this kind of alchemy, forging out of their anguish and pain, songs, music, poems, paintings and other works of art that have been treasured for generations to come. One has only to listen to the songs of the black spirituals, to hear the beauty created out of incredible suffering.
Great leaders for social change – have taken their pain and humiliation about racism, sexism, poverty and oppression and used it to fuel their battle to bring about a more just world. Through joining with others, and creating community they have found hope, inspiration and joy along the way.