Pain is a Great Teacher
When there is going to be peace and comfort
First, it will be tough and unbearable
These were Ifa's declarations to Orunmila
When he owed 2,000 cowries in 20 places
He was advised to offer sacrifice
With 3,000 cowries in 30 places
Before long, not tol far off
Join us in the midst of abundant life
Iwori, come and behold money
- Holy Odu IworiOse
You see the joy, but fail to recognize the sacrifice that was made to enable joyous circumstances. As a result, you are inclined to panic in the face of adversity. Sometimes, life can be so rough that ypu can hardly imagine happiness. But Ifa does teach us to understand the fact that trouble is a temporary condition. Not only that, there are instances wherein sorrow is the final phase in a journey that culminates with great happiness and fulfillment. It is in those times that you have to muster the courage and the willingness to finish strong, with conviction. In track and field, our mantra was "lean at the tape." Even if you don't win the race, you might beat your personal best.
Living the medicine means learning how to read your suffering within the context of your complete journey. It means allowing discomfort to dig deeper and deeper wells of intention within your soul. This is what will give you the leverage to enjoy a profound sense of happiness once the struggle has been overcome. So, no matter how bad you feel from time to time, remind yourself that this is only temporary. Be still and prepare yourself for better days.
One of the most important things to do is to accept the pain. In the verse above, we see that Orunmila's debt was 2,000 cowries in 20 places (i.e., 2,000x20). Imagine how he must have felt when the awo told him the sacrifice would be 3,000 cowries in 30 places, or 3,000x30! It means that he had to sacrifice even more than he was suffering in order to turn his adversity into opportunity.
The 3rd Golden Key of Meaningful Change is to accept pain as a wise, master teacher. Learning from your discomfort requires courage. It also intensifies your self confidence. When you decide that your desire to achieve personal greatness is greater than your fear of pain, you gain the authority to learn from the experience. Find out more in the new course, 3 Golden Keys of Meaningful Change.
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Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.