I often think about those challenging years of my youth. The teasing, the stress of being different, feeling stuck with my unattractive, awkward and dorky self. I’ve been thinking about it because out of that ugliness grew the beauty of my current life.

What would we be without the weeds in the garden of our lives? From difficulty sprouts hope, humility and honest self-reflection. It is also the meat of our creativity. It fuels everything from blog posts to award winning works of art.

It is for that reason, I’m grateful for my little, four-eyed, painfully shy self. It’s taught me compassion and forced me to cultivate my own sense of self-worth. It wasn’t always a pleasant place to be. But my unpopularity shut me away from outside superficialities and from that lonely place, I found meaning, purpose and a new way of viewing my life.

Everyone goes through difficulty. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling in your relationship, feeling insecure or are stressed out. It’s what you do with the hard stuff that matters. Those who share their story end up unintentionally or intentionally become an inspiration to others suffering. Our posts this week reminds us that you’re really only a painting, poem or blog post away from making a difference.

{Etsy original painting by thelittlehappygoose}

{Etsy original painting by thelittlehappygoose}

Five Skills that Predict Success in Marriage Relationships
(Neuroscience & Relationships) – Are you and your spouse on the road to matrimony happiness or splitsville? A groundbreaking study reveals 5 surprising behaviors that will predict the future of your relationship.

Six Habits that Lead to Emotional Security
(NLP Discoveries) – Feel emotionally insecure? Just because you don’t feel secure, doesn’t mean you can’t work at becoming more secure emotionally. Here are 6 skills that’ll help get you there.

Creative Expression and Sexual Abuse
(The Creative Mind) – Abuse, regardless of when it happened, causes a cascade of physical, emotional and psychological problems. As this post shows, creative expression often offers an open door toward hope, light and recovery.

Poem: Children Learn What They Live
(Mental Health Awareness) – An inspiring poem reminds us about the things we intentionally and inadvertently teach our children not just by what we say, but by how we treat them.

Video: Live Longer, Stay Healthier By Changing The Way You View Stress
(Panic About Anxiety) – Want to cope with stress better? Watch this. This surprising video reveals that stress itself won’t kill you. It’s how you view stress that really makes a difference to your health.