Finding the Peace

The Cure for Despair is Growth

Recently I listened to Mary Piepher on Oprah’s Soul Series.  She was talking with Elizabeth Lessor.  Piepher’s latest book is Seeking Peace.  In this book she talks about her mental breakdown and how during this time she was focused on a journey of seeking peace.  One of her bits of wisdom that she learned through her journey was that the cure for despair is growth and the cure for pain is the pain. This resonates with my own experiences which I wrote about in my book, Finding the Peace.  It was interesting to listen to Elizabeth Lessor facilitate this interview as Lessor wrote a book, Breaking Open, a book about her mental breakdown. 

The conversation brought up the point that most all of us, as human beings, have experienced despair.  It is a given, that as we journey through life, we will have times when we despair. It is part of the human condition. It is through the despair – through experiencing the pain – that we will find our answers, find our peace, if we so choose. The choice is to ask, “What have you come to teach me?” as Mary Piepher states. Resisting the pain, resisting the despair is not the way out of the despair.  Rather, it is through the despair, feeling it, being with it, and then looking for changes in our own inner self that will ultimately help us out of the despair.

So what does this really mean?  It means that if we are in despair over something that is happening in our life, we can use this as a pivot time to heal and find peace. Our despair is guidance that we have to change something, heal something, move forward in some way that may be different. Growing through the despair is the way out of the despair. It is looking within ourselves and changing within. So when you find yourself in this place of pain – despair – consider using the despair to catapult yourself through it with some new growth and change. It may be that through this process you, once again, feel the sun on your face, finding a new part of yourself born out of the darkness.

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  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.


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