Turning Pain into Purpose

G’day, friends, and welcome to the first blog post of 2024!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and an even better New Year!


I spent my New Year with family in Bundaberg but was as sick as a dog, believe it or not! So, my New Year was spent dealing with congestion and cold sweats in 32-degree heat! It was not fun, but catching up with family was fun when I wasn’t feeling poorly!

Anyway, I have recovered and am back into the swing of things! One of the things I have been back to is reflecting (as I tend to do constantly) on how I have managed to get to where I am now from that shy, insecure, angry at my disability and the world, no boundaries girl.


It’s always healthy to reflect because it can put things into perspective or allow you to learn about yourself and where to improve or celebrate!


When I was first diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy back in 2002 (aka when I was 3), the doctors weren’t all that optimistic, and as such, sent my parents into a spiral full of panic and spending countless hours consulting doctor google.


As I grew up, the societal stigma of disability wasn’t all that positive either. People with disabilities held little to no value, and we were seldom given the opportunities to live a life we truly wanted to live. Seeing that and hearing some of the stories, even from a young age, contributed to feeling lost and scared of what my life would entail outside of the safety net of school, even though school wasn’t entirely a piece of cake either.


I am so grateful that the kids (and indeed adults) who are diagnosed with disabilities today have the chance to see strides being made in society to be inclusive and accommodating. Sure, can it be better? Always, but there has to be a starting and middle point. You have to learn how to walk before you run!


When I was around nine or so, I started to majorly question why I had been put on this earth and, more specifically, why I was disabled. Why was I having to go through so much pain and endure the bullying, uncertainty, and doctor visits?


I believe everyone is put here for a reason. Whether that be to teach, be taught, lead, inspire, help, love, or support. Even the not-so-stellar reasons, like causing another pain, whether intentional or unintentional. But that pain can spark that person to create a life they couldn’t have imagined.


They say pain is your best teacher or something like that. It can push you to improve and live a life you didn’t know was possible.

But for me, I was utterly swallowed up by my pain for many, many years.


Dealing with grief, loss, a body that was losing ability I felt by the day, bullying, and the feeling of confusion and not feeling like I had a place in society kept the pain fire well stocked.


When the bullying ramped up a notch, and the doctor’s visits became terrifying and traumatising, I questioned what my life would look like and, again, what was the purpose for all of this.


As a result, I crawled into my shell and continued to be ruled by my lack of self-worth. Whenever I thought of something to do as a career or hobby, I was met with rejection or hesitation from people around me and within me.


I was angry, lost, confused, and without zest for life.


That was until I was encouraged by my family and my fantastic Godmother to consider studying Law during a conversation over lunch. It wasn’t dependent upon my physical abilities and enabled me to impact others positively using my voice. That was the first time I saw a flicker of hope that my life may have meaning, and as such, my disability would have meaning!


I poured everything into legal studies in high school. I had a fantastic teacher who continuously pushed me to do better on each assessment so I could go to university knowing I could study Law and become a Lawyer.


That was the first time I honestly used my pain of being bullied, of my disability, of witnessing so much hurt, and poured it into something useful. Even though I didn’t become a practising Lawyer, choosing to do something with all that I had experienced started a journey of self-discovery, healing and finding my true passion and purpose.


About 12 months after finishing my degree, I knew I had always wanted to help people. But I realised that Law just wasn’t it. It wasn’t safe, and it just didn’t align with me. However, I decided to keep believing that my life and the pain I endured had meaning and I held value.


When I stumbled across Tony Robbins and the world of life coaching, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I found something that inspired me and allowed me to use my story in more ways than Law ever could.


The little insecure, shy, lacking confidence girl ten years ago would never have believed the journey she would embark on. It wasn’t and isn’t easy. She would endure much more pain than she thought was imaginable. But that pain allowed her to continue to grow, to learn, and ultimately help others.


Using all the pain and hurt I have gone through in my 24 years of life has allowed me to make peace with the past, learn more about myself, and start creating a business and a brand that means so much to me through a lot of counselling, coaching, and being in a round yard with horses.


But I had to make the choice that I wasn’t going to let pain rule me and keep me angry and turn me into something I wasn’t or didn’t want to be.


Had I allowed myself to continue being swallowed up by my pain, I would never have gone to uni, to continue pushing the limits of my disability and what I am physically capable of, and to have found my purpose. I would have stayed angry and bitter with the world, which would have got me nowhere.


Turning my pain into my purpose is my way of flicking the bird to the doubters, the haters, the people who didn’t believe in me, and those who want to see me fail and suffer.


But most importantly, I want to prove to myself and show myself that the pain was worth every ounce of tears, blood, uncertainty, and sleepless nights full of dread, anxiety and self-loathing. Because of it, I am on the path to living a life full of purpose and meaning and one that has no regrets.


Turning pain into purpose isn’t easy. But when you start on that path, it creates a person who is so strong and full of confidence and self-worth. I am not saying everyone has to become a coach, speaker or athlete. What I am saying is that as long as you find your purpose and push through the pain that is wanting to keep you in hiding, that is when you truly begin to live your life.

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