Twice in my life I’ve been through the crucible.
First when my Dad’s aorta exploded and second when I had a fundamental breakdown aged 30.
Each of those things tested me to my core. Pushed me to places I never wanted to go. Made me confront truths I never wanted to acknowledge.
I’m going through the crucible again right now, with CFS/ME, an experience that’s transforming my life.
That’s what passing through the crucible does – it leaves you changed.
Like me, you will have had experiences that threatened to shake you to your very foundations, experiences that were either thrust upon you or that you entered into, trembling.
The crucible forces you to dig deeper than you ever thought was possible. It reveals what’s at your core, for good or ill. It shows you what lies ahead and it makes you responsible for your legacy.
When you’re in the midst of the storm it’s hard to see what the hell’s going on; sometimes all you know for sure is that it’s loud, chaotic, painful and sometimes tortuous.
And life will always have this stuff up its sleeve.
Not a thing you can do about it.
It’s only once you’ve passed through it that you can look back, using hindsight to derive meaning from what you’ve been through and to get a feel for how it affected you and how you see your life and world differently.
But with CFS/ME, I’ve regularly found myself facing the heat of the crucible over such an extended period of time that I’ve been able to find the calm centre of it.
I’ve been able to to sit inside it and breathe
I believe that crucible experiences are the universe’s way to test you; to see what you’re really made of.
I believe they’re a mechanism to make sure you face up to who you are, and own it.
As painful and disruptive as they may be, they might just save your life.
Don’t shy away from or hold back, and if you’re willing, I’d love to hear your crucible story in the comments.
- Write down the story of one of your crucible experiences. What happened? What did it feel like? Forget about creating a compelling narrative or even having it make sense – you’re not writing for anyone but yourself. Just write how it was for you.
- What did this crucible experience reveal to you? What parts of yourself did it show you, or what truths did it make you confront?
- How did this crucible experience leave you changed? What can you never “unknow” or “unlearn” having passed through it?
- What do you have to thank this crucible experience for?
- Write down one thing you can do this week that will honour this crucible experience, and commit to doing it.