There is no way of getting around it, 2021 was hard. For the millions affected by COVID-19, to the businesses and families left in the wake of it, made the past year almost unbearable for some. Make no mistake, the past year has left many families without hope and without a vision for the future. Even if you feel lost, just open your eyes and see the light in the darkness, because it’s the dawn of a new day and a start to a better you.
Every new year brings a glimmer of hope.
On the heels of the holidays, many people set new year’s resolutions; resolving to make the new year a year of opportunity. Having said that, opportunities can come in many forms. For some, opportunities arise from a learned experience or a connection. For others, opportunities are born out of adversity. Those hard-fought moments can give birth to a new perspective or ability that can forever change you.
To illustrate, the TYRO Program founder, Ron Tijerina, served 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. This season of grief, doubt, despair eventually gave way to acceptance and a renewed purpose. Although, at first, the grief of prison was overwhelming for Ron and his family, eventually he began to find meaning in the pain. This meaning gave him a new purpose – and purpose is one of the most important commodities in prison.
“There is a measure of joy and a measure of pain in everyone’s lives.” – Ron Tijerina
Ron’s purpose was to help families who were impacted by incarceration and to build up men and women who were devastated by prison. Although wrongfully accused, he found within himself the strength to become a better person through it. Ron and his wife began to create a program, later called TYRO. This program has since profoundly impacted tens of thousands of inmates across the United States.
We have all experienced pain.
We have all experienced pain in one form or another, be it the death of a loved one or the imprisonment of a partner. Not a single family is immune to these moments in life. In our low moments, we may not have the strength to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you are in the middle of a painful season, you are not alone. Although this pain may seem like it will last forever, your pain is only temporary and it does not have to define your future.
Considering that, how can you overcome pain and catch a vision for your future? The first step to overcoming pain is acceptance. Without accepting the pain, you will risk the pain overtaking you or pushing you towards a negative cycle in your life. In fact, the traumatic experience of incarceration led Ron Tijerina to the revelation that there is a measure of joy and a measure of pain in everyone’s life. Knowing that everyone experiences pain will allow you to accept the reality of your season. Once you accept the trauma or painful moment, you can overcome it.
Learning to Dream Big
It’s ok to dream and you should dream often. If you’ve forgotten how to dream, then you need to learn how to dream again. Sometimes the past can cause you to stop dreaming. With dreaming you can build your vision for the future and elevate yourself beyond your painful moment.
You are an overcomer. You have already faced so many challenges in your life. Without realizing it, that pain you experienced can be your greatest teacher in life. As one who has learned from pain, you are now capable of leading others who are going through it themselves.