Sometimes you have to go through the storm 26



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“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about” – Haruki Murakami


Life is unpredictable. No surprises there.

You never know what lies around the corner waiting to test your resolve.

Life’s challenges are part of the human condition and yet none are immune from the ravages of existence. They arise for reasons we cannot comprehend and leave us like a wounded pigeon, with broken wings. Yet contained within this knowledge and in spite of life’s upheaval, we are able to reconnect to our authentic power however uncompromising conditions appear. This quote by Haruki Murakami signifies our ability to assume control of how we interpret pain and suffering, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”.

Through my own trials I now appreciate the supreme lesson that we are ultimately not in control. With this knowledge, we surrender to universal forces to imbue us with the experiences to shape our destiny. Surrender does not mean apathy, in contrast it means mental and emotional detachment from preferred outcomes. We allow the process of life to unfold through us and in doing so trust our needs are fulfilled at the right time.

You are never presented with an experience that is the sum of your conditioning. Each challenge stretches you to grow beyond your comfort zone. Comparable with the seasons which arrive and recede, your challenges serve a purpose. Sometimes it may not be obvious for a long time, yet everything unfolds in line with a supreme order. I am neither referring to religion nor spirituality, but an intricate universal order which governs the framework of reality.

There is an ancient Sufi passage that states, “This too shall pass”. Reflect on these words during your darkest hour. Pain and suffering recedes to give way to a harmonious solution. Painful challenges dissolve in the same way morning fog lifts to reveal a brilliant day.

Yield to your challenges by leaning in to them instead of opposing them. What happens when you move into your challenges than run away from them? You face them head on and build self-confidence. The storm represents your darkest hour amid the backdrop of uncertainty. Known as the dark night of the soul, the storm serves a purpose. It endows you with vital resources intended for your personal evolution.

It is by no mistake that the bigger we play, the harder we fall. Challenges can arise suddenly, yet lead us to a deeper knowledge of ourselves. Your personal growth is impeded were it not for the difficult times. Man does not rise to his best under the kindest conditions, yet in the harshest storm he discovers his true potential.

Do not merely embrace the good times, savour the difficult times as well since progress is realised under testing conditions. The happiest people are those who have undergone hardship to emerge with deep wisdom to share with others.

We prevail not in waiting for the storm to pass, but in proceeding through the storm. Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” You see, the storm shapes your inner landscape by exposing your strengths and weaknesses. It sharpens the saw as Stephen Covey reminds us in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

“If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm” – Mahatma Gandhi

If you are feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges, get back on your feet and persist through it. Acquire the lessons, experience the pain. We must venture beyond our comfort zone daily if we are to awaken our potential. Those who settle, burn out well before their time has come. It was George Bernard Shaw who said, “I want to be all used up before I die.”

Similarly, we must strive to nurture patience and self-compassion as we endure the storm. In doing so you develop a resilient sense of self. Consider your advice to a close friend or family member undergoing a similar trial.

The Buddha teaches the Four Noble Truths essential to his teachings. They apply to us if we seek to understand the nature of adversity and how to make sense of it in our lives.

If we wish to penetrate the true nature of our existence, we must develop a deeper knowledge of ourselves. Suffering is the threshold into one’s reality, perceived through the lens of adversity. The Four Noble Truths affirm that life is impermanent – everything is in a transitory state, even our pain and troubles.

They are espoused in the following principles:

The Truth of Suffering Life is filled with suffering.
The Truth of the Cause of Suffering The root cause of suffering relates to our cravings for the wrong things. Our material attachments can never meet our true needs since we always yearn for more. Everything is impermanent or in a transitory state.
The Truth of the End of Suffering Suffering can be overcome and happiness attained if we relinquish our cravings and live each day as it comes. Bliss is attained when we let go of satisfying our personal needs in place of allowing life to flow through us.
The Truth of the Path Leading to the End of Suffering This embodies the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the end of suffering: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.


Your response to hardship is measured by your attitude and mental resilience. Charles Swindoll said, “Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I’ve come that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it”.

Therefore, it is not life’s volatility that is the cause of our hardship, yet how we interpret those events that shape our life. We have two choices in each challenge: rise to it and in doing so overcome it or retreat into despair. The latter invites more suffering and erodes our personal self.

We all suffer pain in one form or another, yet the degree to which we choose to suffer remains within our control.


What challenge have you had to overcome recently?

Tony Fahkry

If you enjoyed this article by Tony Fahkry, why not gain access to Tony's full body of knowledge by getting a copy of his new book 'The Power to Navigate Life.' The Power to Navigate Life is arguably the most complete and powerful teachings on the mastering of life. The Power to Navigate Life is your opportunity to experience a rewarding life from the very first page. Visit Founder of The Power to Navigate Life, Tony is a leading holistic, health and self-empowerment specialist. He brings over ten years’ experience at the highest level as a health professional, corporate and public speaker, author and coach.

  1. finding myself suddenly single at the age of 58…in my 30th year of marriage…was quite a shock…didn’t think anything could get any worse…until the test results came back positive for cancer…but….being on my own I had only myself to both answer to and fight for…it worked…better than expected…my children were all grown women and hugely supportive…but I had to fight for myself…by myself…they say hindsight is 20/20 and even though at the time it was a mess…I made it…I am now healthier and happier than I have been in years…I should actually send him a thank you note…lol….I have a perfect furture planned…a big move that I would not normally have taken…and am truly looking forward to an awesome future…my daughters and I are the closest we have ever been…and underneath all….I found my sense of humour and yes….my smile….

    6 REPLY
    • Amazing what a person can do whentheyhave their backs against the wall . Congratulations, and good health x

    • Congrats Jan – u could write an article/book like this life coach – u prob have been thru way more than he did. Going thru same myself – recently diagnosed. I take heart from your story and strength!

    • it’s all in the attitude Kathy…..they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…I should be able the bench press a tour bus…hahaha…stay focused and keep asking all the questions….always hold your doctor to task….and don’t do anything YOU don’t feel is right for you….good luck…convince yourself you will be just fine…and you will be…

  2. Maybe only small to some but certainly dramatic to me recently having to put my little furry friend of 13 sleep this week

  3. Our wise yoga teacher used to tell us you will never be faced with anything you don’t have the strength to overcome – and I have proved it to be true many times over the years.

  4. having to give up work owing to the effects of leukaemia, then two lots of chemo therapy, every month after treatment i ended up in hospital sick, ive had so many blood tests, scans, xrays so much time in hospitals, the fatigue from chemo is a killer, but now im in remission, so all is good, through all this my wife was by my side,,,love you princess

  5. I I I read your article with great interest it totally resonates with me as I am going through a storm now, your words have given me a better focus I will read it again and try to follow your advice thank you so much

  6. No winis this is not small, I’ve had many struggles over the past 18 months and having to put my little 16 yr old dog to sleep was up there with the most painful. I will always miss him he was family, time will heal. Be gentle with yourself.

  7. my little furbaby was 21…she was so sick…I miss her everyday…no Winis it’s not a small thing…

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