You Are the Chosen One


My parents are Vietnamese refugees and always taught me that strength was the ability to persevere through any storm. I equated that definition with the ability to face any waves by grinning and bearing it. In fear that it would make me weaker, I would not let myself get emotionally involved or reveal any hint of vulnerability.  

Until I got sick and my perseverance was tested. After months of showing no progress, I felt myself starting to break. Even though it was just a tiny crack in my foundation, the disappointment and guilt I felt for not being able to persevere knocked me all the way down.

Feeling broken is like being in a constant state of instability. There is nowhere to gain solid footing and no hand to grab; you have become shattered glass, completely see-through and extremely fragile. I equated this fragility with weakness because in order to be strong you can never be broken, right?

Wrong, being strong and being broken are not mutually exclusive. Breaking is a sign of strength, not weakness. The act of breaking can be defined as chipping away at all the unnecessary aspects of who you are in order to reveal the parts that are indestructible. This creates a more solid foundation on which to push forward and embrace the pain that is an inevitable part of our journey.

Pain is the necessary oil in our life that turns the wheel of our development. It makes us more dynamic, deepens our emotional spectrum, and is the catalyst of change.

While we as people chase perfection, the pain-free, the easy to come by—because it’s so sweetly simple—perfection is unattainable, pain is unavoidable, and the easy to come by isn’t always the best to come to.  

Experiencing pain can cut us to our core and break us in ways that are unimaginable, but remember that this process is not for the faint-hearted. You were chosen because you are strong. Allowing yourself to release emotions and display vulnerability does not make you weak. These qualities will help you expand your knowledge in compassion and empathy that will open many more doors than the ones you feel have closed.

So press forward. Live imperfectly and love extraordinarily. For you are one of the chosen ones. Embrace it.