“You have to go through those mountains and valleys – because that’s what life is: soul growth.” Wayne Newton

Last week while watching Iyanla, Fix My Life, I heard something powerful You know the show on the OWN channel where Iyanla Vanzant helps folks fix their lives by assisting them in mending some type of dysfunction causing a breakdown in their relationSHIPS.   I thoroughly enjoy the show and think Iyanla gives very sound and solid advice that if these folks do “THEIR WORK, may indeed fix their lives. Every week, I tune in and look forward to watching her as she does her work and to hear her Iyanla-isms and she never disappoints.  In a recent episode, she said to a guest, “our healing is not at the mountaintop but in the valley”  which led me to ponder my own valley experiences and discovered that I’ve never viewed the valley as a place of healing. I’ve always recognized that the valley offered growth but never labeled that growth as healing. Although, It makes sense because we DO learn (or should learn) some of our most meaningful “life experiences” while in the valley, so it is a place of healing and growth. How do you view a valley? Is it a punishment OR an opportunity to grow?  Can you heal and grow while in the valley? Are there LESSONS IN THE VALLEY? I believe there are!!! So for this week’s blog, let’s talk SHIP about the LESSONS IN THE VALLEY!!!

What is a valley? A valley is a low point in one’s life that can occur without warning. Valleys can be emotional, relational, financially, and spiritual. They are often painful, hurtful, and very unpleasant. And no matter how much we plan and prepare in both our personal and professional lives- a valley experience will inevitably interrupt those plans. Have you heard the phrase, “If you’re not headed out of a valley, you’re headed into one”? It’s true and resonates with me because it seems like I’ve always had a hurdle to overcome or a setback that caused me to have to rebuild and start over. It seemed like it was always something. Eventually, I learned that my valleys weren’t personal. They weren’t intended to hold me back or impede my progress. On the contrary, my valley experiences were necessary for me to heal and to grow mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. While going and growing through these valley experiences, I learned that there were LESSONS IN THE VALLEY I needed to learn.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go from mountaintop to mountaintop without having to travel through a valley? That would be absolutely fantastic but NOT possible. All of us have to travel through the valley, no exceptions. Everyone, even the most successful individuals have had their share of valley experiences en route to their mountaintops. Our valley experiences may begin as a result of the choices we’ve made or randomly because it’s simply our turn to have our valley experience. It doesn’t really matter how you arrive in the valley, what matters is what you do while you’re there. If you spend your valley time patiently and wisely, you’ll re-emerge as a better version of yourself. Because it’s true, most of our meaningful life lessons and growth opportunities will come from the time we’ve spent living our life in valleys. But what are the LESSONS IN THE VALLEY?

Being in a valley can be a challenging and lonely experience. We’ll experience defeat, triumphs and trials, grief and loss, sorrows, depression, and pain-sometimes all at once. But our response to these occurrences is where the LESSONS IN THE VALLEY begin. These valley experiences teach us about ourselves. They give us clarity. They build our character. They teach us perspective. Valley experiences teach us patience. They provide us with insight. They teach us responsibility. Valley experiences teach us patience. They help us to better understand ourselves and others. Valley experiences teach us to compromise. Valley experiences provide answers, Valley experiences teach us how to grow and how to heal. Valley experiences allow us to refocus, renew and refresh. and if we are willing to do the work, valleys can be a good place for us to FIX our lives.

Valleys are inevitable and beyond our control. So the next time you find yourself in a valley, don’t take it personally, it is not a punishment. Instead, seize the opportunity to grow and heal by relaxing and learning the LESSONS IN THE VALLEY. Since you’re already there, make better use of your valley experiences and just learn the LESSONS that the VALLEY has to OFFER!!

SHIP TALK: Have you experienced a valley moment? Did you learn the LESSONS IN THE VALLEY?

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