Fertilizer Stinks … But it Keeps your Lawn Green

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. ~Napoleon Hill

Has life been one unbearable trial after another? Have you been beaten up and chewed up and spit out by a history that has left you maimed, scarred and bloodied? None of that can feel very good. As a matter of fact, it likely feels gut-wrenchingly awful.

But have you ever considered that the pain and adversity of life may have been responsible for fertilizing the soil of your heart to yield fruit it could not have produced in any other way?

Your past may indeed have been hard. Life may have been incredibly unfair. People who should have loved you may have been heartless and selfish and vicious and cruel. You may understandably be filled with a deep and burning anger, with resentment, guilt or regret or even hate because of it.

But even though life has bruised you deeply, there are likely strengths you’ve acquired in enduring life’s unyielding assault. Think of the attributes your adversity has helped produce in you: Patience, empathy, determination, sensitivity to your children’s (or others’) needs, kindness, courage.

Such traits are not bought cheap. They come at a cost that is difficult to pay. That’s why so many people grow up without them, or with only underdeveloped shadows of them.

So while I would never suggest being thankful for the pain of the past, that pain can be softened at the realization of the benefits it has produced.

Sure, other challenges may be attributable to that same pain, such as fear, uncertainty, insecurity and self-doubt. But life is all about taking what’s best from what’s worst and marching forward. So take what’s best about the worst of your past and move on. Appreciate that part of it. Embrace it. Thank God for it. Then start to build a better life up from it.

You just may find that what was worst turns out to have produced what’s best, that the stink of life has fertilized the soil of your heart and has allowed something very beautiful to grow there.