Good reminders from people who had it worse

I just finished listening to the book ‘Unbroken‘ and was left with a couple deep impressions:

  1. Louis Zamperini strengthened my already deep commitment to the belief that everything is conspiring for my benefit. He declared after all that he faced that everything happens for our ultimate good, and that is powerful coming from him.
  2. If Louis Zamperini can live to age 97, with peace in his heart, compassion, and forgiveness while creating a life of impactful service to others, then anything is possible.

He had every conceivable obstacle to hope, happiness, and life stacked against him…and yet he prevailed.

I’ve experienced a lot of pain, but nothing compared to what Louis Zamperani faced.

Not even remotely close.

He was starving near death for 2 months lost at sea.

Then physically and emotionally tortured for YEARS, while starving, emaciated, and sick as a prisoner in Japan.

Then miraculously freed only to suffer from the trauma, nightmares, and revenge consuming his life for years.

It’s utterly amazing that he survived, and more still that he came through it ‘Unbroken’ in every sense of the word, and able to find gratitude and goodness as a result of his experiences

I didn’t realize that the Japanese POW camps rivaled some of the German concentration camps in brutality.

My heart is more open today.

More compassionate.

And I feel more grateful.

If you have a weak stomach I don’t recommend reading Unbroken. It is largely a gruesome account of intense tragedy and the brutality of war.

It has a wonderfully happy ending though.

I’ve been criticized by many in amazon reviews of my book for being too detailed about the pain and sickness i experienced.

But I am personally grateful for the detailed account of Louie’s suffering.

Just like the majority of reviewers expressed gratitude for my detailed account.

Because it is through relating to the details of other’s suffering that we grow in empathy, our heart expands, and we open ourselves up to new love, new light, and the peaceful feelings of gratitude for our abundance of blessings.

 

I am better off for having read Unbroken.

Another similar book was Victor Frankl’s ‘Man’s search for meaning‘ which was much more impactful for me actually.

Because it was filled with Victor’s life’s study and insight into how to live and find meaning even in tragic, trying circumstances

 

Both books reinforce these 3 points for me:

  • Choose to be grateful for everything that has happened, because everything is conspiring for your benefit.
  • This requires forgiveness and learning to love in ways you could never comprehend before.
  • And Love is the whole point of life.

Make today amazing!

-Aaron

 

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