Me and a friend were recently having a conversation. He is a Reiki healer and has helped me through a lot. He told me that he is able to help others so much because he has stood in their shoes before and understands what it is like to be in their struggle, yet also knows what it is like to make it to the other side. In a lot of myths someone would come across the path of a shaman or healer, because they themselves needed healing. Having walked through pain and struggle themselves, the Wounded healer has the ability to empathize with others, yet having come out the other side they are able to provide prospective and healing. In my generation there is an unprecedented amount of suicide, violence, depression, anxiety, addiction and countless other signs that show we are suffering. I have heard countless stories from friends, girlfriends and people I barely know about how much struggle and pain they are going or have gone through , and have had my own struggles. But I have also seen incredible strength, compassion, awareness and a deep desire for change from these same people. Struggle and hardship have valuable lessons to teach us if we are willing to listen. They tell us to value and be grateful for those we love, to care more about the people and environment around us, to be gentler and kinder in the face of hate. We have the choice to allow these experiences to be a catalyst for growth and change, but we have to be willing to face, heal, and learn from them. A lot of the times our first reaction is to numb ourselves so we don’t have to feel anything so horrible every again. Yet when we numb out the bad we numb out the good. When we can’t feel fear or sadness we can’t feel love and joy. But when we having the courage to face the darkness, we find incredible light. And right now the world and the people in our lives need this light more than ever.