The Secret Sauce

Is there such a thing? If there was, we certainly would all want some. . . no, we would want ALL of the secret sauce.


Someone amazing once told me that life was never meant to be easy. I couldn’t agree more. How boring would life be if we were able to sail through without any pain or sadness? Did you just stop right there? Are you thinking, “GIRRLLL, I’m not buying it?”.


Pain and sadness are part of life’s great journey. We all have some. None of us want it.

We would never choose it. Yet, pain and sadness are essential.


I was at the RISE Conference this last weekend. If you are living under a rock, this is the conference that Rachel & Dave Hollis of “Girl, Wash Your Face” fame have created. It was nothing short of amazing. If you get the chance, GO. Don’t stop to collect $200. Just go.

I heard so many amazing speakers. Like, really amazing, diverse people with some pretty great things to say.


Jen Hatmaker, a NY Times bestselling author said, “Do not let the rejections, demotions or false starts hold you back. That is your rocket fuel.” That’s right. Jen Hatmaker called your pain and sadness ROCKET FUEL.


Trent Shelton, author and motivational speaker said, “Right after your breakdown is your breakthrough. The foundation for your purpose is your pain.” Huh. Trent said pain is your FOUNDATION.


Dave Hollis, current CEO of The Hollis Co and former President @ Walt Disney Studios said when thinking of our past experiences in pain or sadness we should tell ourselves, “It happened to have happened.”


Rachel Hollis, who needs no introduction said that none of us should feel guilty for who we are. That our creator made us this way. Shame and guilt do NOT serve us. Our past experiences may not have happened for us, but we can find meaning in every experience.


Nick Santonastasso, an internationally known bodybuilder and fitness model with Hanhart Syndrome, said “The biggest disability is a bad mindset.” If you haven’t heard Nick’s story, you should follow him. Today. Like, right now. Go follow him. He’s incredible.


Y’all. . . pain sucks. Sadness sucks. But, I can honestly say that in every painful experience, I am no longer left wondering, “Why me?”. Instead, I think, “What does this mean in my life?”. It has been a game changer. I know that my brother’s death did not happen for a reason. But, I do know that it shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve raised money for suicide prevention and education. I’ve spoken on stages, sharing my story. I’ve helped pass legislation to fix our broken mental health system. It made me this version of me. Every other struggle that I have faced I view the same way. There is some piece of each and every struggle that has made me, me. That’s a gift.


Embrace your pain and sadness. That’s where you are. That is what made you.

If you are struggling with something hard in life, ask yourself a question. As Rachel says, “How is this for me?”. You may not know the answer today, but I promise it will be clear someday. If you struggle with addiction, maybe you find your passion is in helping the recovery community. If you have lost a baby, maybe the gift is sharing your story with others and helping them on their journeys. If you are lost your job, maybe you find a better job doing what you love.


Look for the good in everything. I promise, it’s in there somewhere.



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