Apple Music

judge this book by her cover

and you’ll prove yourself a fool.  This woman rocks–figuratively and literally–and she talks about something near and dear to my human heart: hurting, failure, loss, rejection and feeling bad about myself–and how all of that can be an opportunity for personal and public growth.

I wrote a song when I was in my teens; the lyrics expressed a simple thank you for my suffering–I was “grateful for losing my shirt” and I was “grateful for the times when I hurt.”  There in my youth, I was daring others to acknowledge the value of pain and suffering as a motivational tool, but it would still take my entire life for me to learn that I can be my worst enemy if I refuse to follow my own good advice: we can die alone with the vanity of our despair, or we can embrace that pain as a natural part of life and learn and grow from it and become something reborn in the process.

And then we can help others.  Through honest suffering we learn to empathize and learn how to reach others; how to speak with others; how to hear others; and how to inspire.  In this process we move from victims to humane human beings.  The freakish faults that were the targets of our own worst criticisms become the uniqueness from which we draw strength for other people.

Highly recommend you consider doing yourself a favor and taking an hour to watch this inspiring presentation from Icon For Hire‘s Ariel Bloomer.  She is speaking to an audience of independent musicians, but her life story and message resonates with some timeless, universal truths.

Having a bad day or just a bad life?  Grab some comfort food, turn off the phone, and check it out.  Although Ariel does plug her book once, I’m not selling anything with this; I’m genuinely inspired and feel compelled to share it with someone I care about.

Stay for the entire video; the audience Q&A has some equally poignant, feel-great “yeah’ moments.