Ruin is a Gift

We all know life can be challenging. But, we’re hopeful that most of the time, things go smoothly. And, to that end, we work to avoid disappointment and vexation.

Maybe, if we modified our view of these challenges as a course correction, we wouldn’t be so upset when they occurred. Also, what if we stopped attaching to these experiences and interpreting them as positive or negative? They're happening, accept, and move through it. You know, stop judging the stuff. Of course, this is A LOT easier said than done. Some situations look really negative–even devastating. And, it's hard to be philosophical, especially when you feel like your life is a wreck. Which brings me to a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert that I absolutely love: “Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”

What if the hard times we’re facing are part of the journey to an authentic life? This is when our faith must be bigger than our fear. And, when we have to believe in our ability to navigate challenges with strength, competence, and grace. After all, it’s only when we’re knocked down that we truly learn how to rise.

You may wonder where I’m going with all of this. I'll be the first to admit that I want to keep my life on course. I'm an all my ducks in a row kinda girl. I try to follow the rules, keep my word, and act decently, treating others as I would like to be treated. However, despite my good intentions and best efforts, challenging circumstances still arise. But, it’s been during these moments that I've developed a laser-like focus on who I am and what really matters…and, the resolve to take action.

Periodically, difficult paths are just part of the journey. They are rough, but, definitely necessary to build strength of character to grow into the highest versions of ourselves.

This is what I know: Every kind gesture, harsh word, meaningful conversation, betrayal, warm embrace, joyful and sad experience has shaped who I am. And, I'm thankful for it ALL. If I changed any part of it, my life would be different...I would be different. So, perhaps as Ms. Gilbert says, ruin IS a gift—part of a higher power’s plan or the universe tweaking our course to ensure we’re heading in the RIGHT direction. I’ve really come to embrace this idea. I don’t believe in coincidences. I think the people we meet and the experiences we have are all meant to teach us something. Perhaps, how to be more patient and loving towards well as ourselves. Or, maybe to appreciate that life is short and stop wasting time.

Here’s the thing: We’re so eager to identify good things as positive. But, what if the negative things were really something positive, too--if only we adjusted our perspectives?

What if EVERYTHING, whether positive or negative, happened for a reason? What if ruin is the offering that recalibrates our lives, ultimately making them worth living? Now, that would truly be a gift.


  1. Dear Tonya. Hoping that you are moving through ruin, as it may appear, with as much equanimity and joy as you can muster. I think of you so often. (I don’t know why I haven’t reached out more.) I do love this piece.


    • Judy,
      Thank you. You’ve been a wonderful friend. Somethings we just have to process alone. There was a shift for me around March. It’s just a period of transition now. I’m so much happier…and, peaceful. It’s kind of exciting getting to create something new! 🙂
      BTW: I still want to get together for lunch. Let’s put something on the calendar. Xo


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