How to Turn Your Pain Into Purpose

My dad was an incredibly talented man. I actually think he could have been president of the United States. People loved him, and I adored him. He gave me a love for the outdoors. He taught me the importance of family and relationships. We shared many deep and philosophical conversations. But we experienced heartache together as well. As far back as I can remember, my dad was an alcoholic. I remember lying in my bed at night, tears welling up in my eyes, not knowing if my dad was going to make it home. Where is he? I worried and wondered. Did he die in a car accident? Then, during the day, there were always questions. Is he drinking today? Can I bring friends home or not? Should I believe him when he promises not to drink anymore?

My father’s drinking caused pain in his life and my life. But I have tried to turn my pain into purpose, to share what I’ve learned about not just alcoholism but relationships, marriage, and fatherhood. What is your purpose? How can you turn your pain into purpose? Here’s how.

Find the source.

Maybe you have experienced the pain of cancer, losing a job, financial problems, divorce, or addiction. That dreadful source of your pain can be used for good. Your pain can grow into an empathy-fueled purpose and passion to help others.

Share to encourage.

Acknowledge your pain. The painful experiences or conditions in your life you want to put behind you or ignore are exactly what you should share with others for their encouragement and for your growth. Your pain can be used for good.

Be a good role model.

You are a role model to your children whether you want to be or not. They will watch the way you handle the pain in your life. Show them by example how to rely on God and others. Teach them that pain does not have to make us angry, bitter, or hopeless.

Show them, and yourself, how to turn pain into purpose.

Sound off: What pain have you experienced that has since given you purpose?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How do you deal with emotional pain?”