TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Embracing pain as currency of value

By Swandy Banta

Recently in Lagos, a school building collapsed and claimed the lives of dozens of children, the school proprietor and even a pregnant woman. The story was also told about a distraught mother who lost her two children in the incident. In the pain and agony of the incidence, it was told that she committed suicide. She just couldn’t bear the sudden and unexpected tragedy.

Pain can be so painful. If you ask me i’d say life itself is synonymous with pain. For as long as we’d be citizens here on earth we’d have to get accustomed to pain.

My name is Swandy. I have tasted, lived and experienced pain. I have felt the pain of suddenly loosing my dad who doubled as my best friend. I have been in a nine year relationship which fell apart like a pack of cards and left me with absolutely nothing. I know how it feels to long for a job, baby, money and even peace of mind. I’ve seen men, women and even little babies in my community gruesomely murdered out of no immediate fault of theirs.

So you see, pain is not synonymous to only you. It’s a phenomenon we all share in common at one time or the other. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the issue of pain and the changes that accompany it and also the decisions that usually accompany.

I will be showing us exactly why we need to embrace pain. Yes I just said that!! Embracing pain, ‘Not wasting pain’. Pain is hard currency which has rewarding potentials when converted to usable form.. Properly utilized, pain can secure the most amazing outcomes we never dreamed or imagined.

I would love to learn and share how to enjoy the benefits of pain together with you. We would also learn to convert this currency called pain for our maximum benefit. Revisiting the story of the mother who committed suicide upon loosing her kids; sometimes I wonder what may have been different if she had chosen to live.

My postulation is she probably would have had two doors to choose from. The door called “Bitter” and the door called “Better”. She actually chose bitter when she took her own life. Sometimes the fact that we did not commit suicide does not mean we did not choose the former. Some persons drool over their misfortunes for too long. They try to blame people and circumstances for their situation and become pessimistic about life. They ultimately allow the situation determine a sad end for them. The door “Better” on the other hand leads to a place where you are able to place things in perspective, deal with the issues objectively, forgive yourself and any other person you need to forgive, let go and chart a new course for your life. This door leads to a place that is full of optimism.

Maybe if the mother of two had chosen the door “Better” she may have in time healed of her grief, gone ahead to have more babies and may have even used her life story to encourage other persons who encountered such tragedies. She sadly chose the road “Bitter”.

Trust me life will always throw rude surprises at us. Our lives will suffer a setback or two at one point or the other. It’s not what happens to us but how we choose to respond and react to what happens to us. We need to always learn to apply hindsight in dealing with difficult times. Most times difficult times are a blessing in disguise if only we are able to persist in bearing through the difficult process of getting to the blessing.

So many stories abound on how pain has been converted to great gain. The story was told about how Oprah Winfrey’s family was so poor that at some point in her childhood she wore clothes made with sacks. As if that was not enough, she got cought up with teenage pregnancy and lost the baby when it was born. Oprah chose the door “Better”. Today her talk show and philantrophic endeavours have rescued millions of people who have had to deal with diverse difficult situations.

What about Nick Vujici, the motivational speaker who was born without arms and legs? Some parents may have abandoned him or even poisoned the young lad, but not his parents. They gave him a chance to live. Today, Nick is a highly sought after motivational speaker. And yes, he’s happily married to a super hot lady and blessed with kids of his own. What would have happened if he had chosen to be bitter when he began to grow and realize he was different from other kids.

Now our own Yinka Ayefeleye, the popular Gospel artist. The story is told of how Yinka was a journalist until the ill fated accident which left him confined to a wheel chair for life. Being forced to change his life course, he took to singing and today he is a very popular musician in the South West of Nigeria. To have Yinka perform at your occasion is a status symbol (even though he sings from a wheelchair). Need I mention that he has ventured into entrepreneurship? He owns his own radio station.. I can bet that if he had not been blessed with the accident that claimed his ability to walk he may have never achieved as much has he has today.

Make no mistake there is no pain that cannot be converted to gain. All we always need to do is look hard enough and the silver lining will be right. Surprisingly even pain that is as a result of our own mistakes can become a source of great gain.

Swandy Banta is blue blooded, ask her what that means and she gladly tells you, she’s been through the tunnel of pain and she found illuminating light. She writes and coaches on the difficult subject of pain. Whether it's national pain, community pain or the pain of loss and the hurts of life that makes us all ask why—she brings new perspectives. Every Friday she treats this topic that haunts us all.