Trigger Blessing

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Triggers are good, and rather than avoid reliving intense experiences, we should embrace them.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way and started at the thrilling conclusion, let’s go back and explore the counterintuitive idea that it’s a good idea to embrace the sources of our deepest pain.

The trigger, the beloved bogeyman of social justice warriors eager for a justification to shut down contrarian discourse, nonetheless represents something real. Traumatic experiences, once past, are buried deep within the furthest recesses of our persistent memory, locked away safe and far from our present mind. Triggers are the keys to the holding cells of the brain, threatening to release whatever rampaging monster of pain we keep locked away.

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Men From Boys, Women From Girls

Is a strong character bestowed at birth? Learned through experiences? Or acquired by choice?

To some extent we are born a certain way. And it is true that we can only develop character if we so choose. However, without having lived a certain life, it can be very difficult to develop real mental and emotional strength and maturity. Men are made from boys and women from girls through the fires of pain, the weight of struggle, and the sting of loss.

You aren’t a man until you’ve felt the repeated battery of rejection crash against your sense of self-worth.

You aren’t a woman until you’ve forced yourself through week after exhausting week, trying your best to improve your life, only to feel it worsen instead.

You aren’t a man until you’ve reach the end of your means, have no clue how you’re going to pay the rent next month, and can’t even get to sleep because of it.

You aren’t a woman until you have loved, given your everything, promised your life over to the dream of a life shared with another, only to lose it all in the cruelest way possible.

You aren’t a complete adult with character until you’ve had dreams and lost them, tried everything and nothing worked, loved and lost. You aren’t a man or woman until you’ve hated yourself with all your strength, despaired to the point of losing all hope of even being able to hope again, pushed yourself well past the point of breaking for longer than any human should be able to endure…. and emerged from the ordeal not weaker, but stronger.

Gender differences can be bridged, cultures can be understood, and languages can be learned… but the chasm that separates the owner of a life of privilege and the victorious former denizen of Hell itself cannot be traversed.

Pain Lasts But a Season

What is worth its price in pain?

Is there anything in this world that’s worth enduring intense physical pain? Is accomplishing a great physical feat worth all the suffering and effort involved? If you have to go through hell to get the perfect body, climb an impossible mountain, or become a veritable human weapon, would you do it?

If you had to risk great emotional suffering in order to find true love, would that be a price you would be willing to pay? If you have to expose yourself to the possibility heartbreak, depression, and wrecked life in order for a chance at something completely out-of-this-world, would you do it? Is anything really worth that?

On the other hand…

What is pain, other than a passing thing? What is struggle, other than something that disappears once finished? What is suffering, other than a memory? What can the worst experience really do in the long run, other than leave a dark shadow upon your soul… a shadow that is weak and intangible, only as powerful as we make it?

If you are willing to brave the worst the world has to offer in order to achieve something spectacular, you can accomplish anything, and simply forget the past’s struggles.

If you will not brave the temporary storm in order to achieve enduring reward, then you deserve your own failure.