A Scarred Gift (Triple Gogyohka) – 3 day quote challenge

A Scarred Gift

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran

I’m a huge believer that suffering causes growth and that those that have scars from the bumps and grinds of life, have great wisdom to offer others. That is, if the one that has suffered allows those experiences to be teachers. Now don’t get me wrong. I try to avoid suffering at all costs. And there are many that don’t allow their experiences to teach them, but instead get bitter and angry with people or with God.

I have been invited by Geralyn, from Where My Feet Are, Sibella, from Arts & Rhymes, Himali, from Decoding Happiness, Sagarika, from In Depth, and Christina, from The Wordy Rose to participate in a ‘3 quotes/3 days challenge. I don’t think I’ll be able to do this consecutively, but I will get all three out sooner or later 🙂

I am suppose to nominate three other bloggers to do this challenge as well, however, I would like to nominate all those who read this to do this challenge. Anyone that would like to.

I wrote the above poem to go along with this quote, because I was just chomping at the bit to create. I had been working all week on a mixed media piece and I really just didn’t like it at all. Sooooo, I crumpled it up and threw it out. At any rate, this poem is inspired by the book, “Ecclesiastes”, which I absolutely love. It was written by an Israeli king, King Solomon, who was a man that made it his life mission to seek wisdom. It offers a philosophy of life and how to find spiritual significance in a life that would otherwise be meaningless (Christian Growth Study Bible). 

How about you? Do you believe that suffering can be your teacher and that great wisdom can come from it?

Gogyohka literally translates as “five-line poem” or “song”. It is a Japanese micro-poetry form that is only five lines long, and has no syllabic restriction.

58 thoughts on “A Scarred Gift (Triple Gogyohka) – 3 day quote challenge”

  1. I certainly do believe that, Staci. A less harsh saying, but along the same philosophy is ‘learning from your mistakes’. That’s imparts wisdom to us. I think that it’s part of the human condition, wired into the way that we learn. Ultimately, it’s was makes us imperfect and human.

    1. Oh yes, it’s true. Learning from our mistakes. That’s a biggie. I remember when I was studying in Perth, Australia. Caue was only one year old. One night the week’s teacher invited us over to her place (where the teacher stayed) for some fun and food and stuff. I was the only mother doing this course. Anyhow, the teacher had some candles on, and all the other students were always so worried about Caue burning himself. For me it was no big deal. I’d rather him burn himself on a small candle and learn from that mistake, than burn himself in a campfire or something bigger and truly hurt himself. Hahaha.
      Thanks Rob.

  2. I don’t believe that God wastes anything we go through. He can bring beauty from ashes, that’s for sure.

  3. Don’t have time to do the challenge, but loved your post and agree wholeheartedly that suffering digs deep in the human soul, down deep enough for wisdom to rise to the surface. And those experiences are definitely meant to be shared. Outward scars leave a noticeable mark on the body and so too does suffering leave a mark in the soul, marks that define who and what we are as we mature. I’m so sorry you tore up your mixed-media piece. My guess it was better than you think. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤

    1. Ohhhhh Natalie, you’re too sweet. I couldn’t stand the piece. I tried to salvage it. I cut the girl out of the original and then tried to incorporate her into a whole new work, but I just couldn’t do it. I’d rather start from scratch. Who know? Maybe I’m a perfectionist. 😉
      Thanks again a big hugs.
      🙂 ❤

  4. We are always on the same page, Staci. I believe that God takes all our “messes” and turns them into “messages!” He has used my suffering to write Healing Thoughts for our work enewsletter. He recycles all of our garbage turning into something beautiful that He can use…for His glory. Your poem is wonderful. How are you doing? You have been on my mind a lot! Oh and by the way…never ever throw out anything you create. Remember God can use it…He can transform it into something beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times He’s used one line from one of my “throwaway poems” to finish up another poem. Same with my photographs. 🙂 xoxo

    1. Haha! That’s great @takes all our “messes” and turns them into “messages!”. Love it.
      I’m doing well. I had a bit of rough return here to the base, but things are much better now, thankfully.
      I don’t know Kirsten. This last piece I did. I just couldn’t stand it. I tried to salvage it and make it into something I could get into, but I finally gave up. I’m going to try my hand at something again this week.
      I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut. Like a restless wanting to create something of meaning and worth, but not knowing how to go about it. Like my artsy tries don’t go over very well, and the poetry doesn’t seem to flow. Ugh!
      Have a great week, my friend.
      🙂 ❤

      1. I”m glad you are doing better! I understand perfectly what you mean about being in a rut. I go through those stages too – I think all artists do. Just keep creating even if you don’t share anything. You have a wonderful gift from God! He will honor your continued efforts. I hope you have a great week too, Staci. xoxo

  5. What a lovely poem Stacey and the choice of Quote and the image is so beautiful. I truly believe in what you said. At times suffering brings out the best of us and gives with so much insights and wisdom in life. It is well said : No pain, No gain.
    Beautifully presented 💕💕💕

    1. Oh yes, well said. “No pain, no gain.” I used to teach physical conditioning classes, and I’d always use that expression. It goes both ways, doesn’t it? Not just physically, but mentally/emotionally/spiritually as well.
      Thank you so much Himali. I’m so glad you liked this.
      Have a great week, my friend.
      🙂 ❤

  6. I love this Staci! Our scars are badges of honor that God deemed us worthy. Never trust someone who has not suffered for like you state there is wisdom the pain offers. God bless!

    1. Mark, I’m so glad you liked this. I know you can definitely relate to this. Considering what you’ve been through.
      Have a great week.

  7. Staci, “A Scarred Gift” is a beautiful poem, and I absolutely love the 1st stanza, as it briefly touches on what we had just discussed. The quote by Kahlil Gibran is fantastic. I agree with you, the things that we experience can create growth, if we allow ourselves the opportunity. This is a lovely post and presentation, and as always, from the heart. Please enjoy your weekend.

    Take good care,

    1. Oh yes, that’s so true. It does indeed touch on what we had been talking about, doesn’t it. Thank you so much for your kind words and for appreciating this.
      I did a google search for scars being reminders and that’s when I saw that quote by Kahlil Gibran. I thought it was so apropos.
      I have suffered a good amount. Maybe not as much as so many others in the world, but I have definitely suffered a lot internally in my mind, thoughts and emotions. After coming through it all, I can see how the suffering has shaped me into who I am today, and how that suffering was even necessary for true inner healing to happen. No one enjoys the experience while going through it, but it really can be an amazing teacher and character builder.
      Thanks again Pepperanne. Have a very good week and take care.
      Staci 🙂 ❤

  8. Suffering does teach, Staci. Solomon…sigh. You know, I often want to scream “when does the suffering end for me” then I remember so many suffer in ways I could not imagine. Humbles me. However, I still fall back into wishing I didn’t suffer the emotional pain I carry. We all do. Hugs, my friend.

    1. Oh Audrey, I’m so sorry you suffer. It really isn’t pleasant, is it? I know how you feel. I remember once, during a time of much suffering in my life, I was having a quiet time with God. I remember saying to him, ‘Oh God, just kill me. I don’t want to live anymore’ And then I went to read something in the Psalms, and the verse said something like, ‘You will not die, but will live and proclaim the word of the Lord’. That definitely made me stop in my tracks. Hahaha.
      I have a friend that told me that whenever she feels sorry for herself, she just opens up the newspaper. Hahaha. She reads about all of the horrible stuff happening in the world and starts thanking God that it’s not happening to her. Hahaha.
      Hugs and blessings to you Audrey.
      Have a great week, and take advantage of the time you have off.
      🙂 ❤

  9. I believe that there is value in suffering and true knowledge and wisdom can only come from it. I used to view suffering as a curse–as if something wrong was done to cause such suffering. But not anymore. I have found a better more meaningful life after suffering, not just in my life, but in the life of those who have suffered around me. Thanks for the message and love the 3 day quote 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Crystal for sharing this with me. I don’t know if I viewed suffering as a curse, but I do know that I felt like I was going through the wringer during my 20s. Coming through that though, I do see how it was necessary for true inner healing to happen.
      Thanks again Crystal and have a great week.
      🙂 ❤

    1. Thank you so much Indah. I’m so glad you ‘love’ this. Those down moments and times of suffering are soooooooo hard, but like you said, they do make us stronger.
      Have a great week.

  10. Oh, Staci, Yes to everything you’ve written in this post! If I avoid suffering and scarring then I’m not growing and learning. I’ve gone on a couple of retreats with Pema Chodren and have a few of her books and she talks about leaning (with open curiosity) into situations where we’re inclined to pull back or run from. Your poem and quote reminds me of this. Thanks for participating in the challenge! 🙂

    1. Oh wow, what a great comment Geralyn. ‘If I avoid suffering and scarring then I’m not growing and learning.’ I’ve never heard of Pema Chodren. I’ll have to Google her to read up on her.
      And thank you for inviting me to this challenge.
      Have a great week.

  11. Hi Staci! I love the poem and the quote is amazing and true. I make it a point to read about the lives of successful, amazing, and inspiring people and they all have a history of suffering. I believe a lack of hard times can make a person shallow, delusional, and flimsy.

    1. Oh yes. I love this Vashti. You hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much for sharing this here. It’s enriched my thoughts today.
      Have a great week.

    1. Awwww, thanks so much Neha. It may take me a while to get to it. I’m still trying to get to the three quotes challenge. So far I’ve posted one. have two more to go. lol. I don’t know when I’ll get to it, but I will sooner or later.
      Thanks again sweetie.
      🙂 ❤

  12. I feel we need to have let-downs in life for us to be able to appreciate the positives. But one has to learn from the bitter experiences to have them not impact us again!

    1. Oh yes, these let downs can definitely cause us to appreciate the positives in life. They also develop in us empathy and compassion for those that may go through similar experiences in the future. At these times, we can be a source of hope and encouragement.
      It is very important to learn from these experiences and let them shape our character. In a perfect world, not allowing them to impact us again is ideal. The unfortunate reality those, is that sometimes bitter experiences are inevitable, and we are weak and fragile. We do our best, right?
      Thank Alok, and take care.

      1. Yes, i guess we learn as we face such bitter times and that makes us stronger every time. But some give up and for them it is the other way round!

    1. Ohhhh, thanks Benjamin. So glad you ‘love’ that. The word, ‘scars’ had been on my mind and I wanted to something with it.
      Hope you’re doing well. Are ya?

      1. Yes! Scars is a very strong image. I’m doing all right, and trying to find ways to do better. Thanks for asking. How are you?

      2. I’m so great at the moment Benjamin. Thanks for asking. It’s pretty warm and sunny these days, so that helps. Are you enjoying your summer?

      3. I’ve been enjoying it as much as possible. Almost over now. Just cam back from a vacation/road trip. It was pretty fun. Back to work though now. I wish the summer would last a little longer. Not looking forward to the winter. Glad to hear you’re great. I hope the great feeling lasts for you. Warm and sunny can’t really be beat most days. Have a fantastic evening. Hope to talk more soon 🙂

      4. Ohhhhh, a road trip. Great. I guess summer is too short in your corner of the world eh. Even our winters here aren’t really all that cold and grey, so I don’t anything to complain about here. Although, I love Canadian Christmases and to me, Christmas needs some cold. It’s just not the same with the blazing hot sun.
        Oh yes, hope to talk more soon with you too.
        Have a great rest of your day Benjamin, and evening too.

  13. Staci, it is indeed a very profound and powerful poem, when you have touched the subject of suffering, meaning and purpose in life, it has to be… Yes, what is life without the purpose and life without purpose is the most painful state, and we are in the constant quest for finding that elusive meaning of life, and we have no formula to obtain it, it is a journey and it has its own time when it will appear in front of us and it has different form and we don’t know what from it will dawn in front of us.

    Patience is big virtue and be honest and be focused in life in what we do and how we do matters, doing sincerely and doing it honestly no one can take away the credit for trying to discover our purpose and it is many time true to many of us who never get to find their purpose of life.

    Suffering is an integral part our life and living, the degree and the depth varies, and we have no means to avoid and define how much of suffering we should take, it comes and we should learn the art of facing it and allowing to go the way it wants to go, if we resist it will persist. In fact suffering and pain that comes our way only makes us more strong and makes us resilient to face the harsh reality of life which comes without notice and without invitation and we get stuck and only when we go thorough the periodical suffering of life we are mentally geared to face these eventuality never to our liking…

    Life without Purpose…??
    Discovering meaning in our life…??
    Once we get the answer.
    Life is beautiful thereafter…

    1. Hi Nihar. Ah yes, the question of suffering. I don’t think I have suffered nearly as much as most of the world. However, the inner suffering that I have endured has caused growth, thankfully. I guess a lot of it has to do with attitude and whether we allow it to teach us and shape our character. I am not by nature a patient person. However, I have gone through experiences that have caused me to grow in the area. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s caused growth.
      As for meaning and purpose. I believe that my life is in the hands of God, and that what I’m living right now, is right in the centre of his will for me. And I’m content. Content and at peace because I believe that I am living what I was meant to live. And it is beautiful.
      Thanks for, yet again, another engaging conversation Nihar.
      Have a great res to the week.

      1. I agree Staci. There are two things that you mentioned really very important…”attitude” and “character”, if we nurture our character and carry the right attitude we all grow big and high, and achieve what we want to achieve in our life.

        Yes, you are right compared to the world outside and the way people suffer, we are all fortunate and but suffering is integral part of life and the degree varies but how we handle matters, we all learn as we grow and there is no end to learning in life…

        Hope you are having a lovely week, and wishing you wonderful weekend…
        Always a pleasure having with such rich discussion with you…

      2. And a pleasure discussing with you too, my friend. I’m thinking it’s already Friday on your end of the world, so I wish you a very nice and relaxing weekend.
        And yes, that’s right, ‘attitude and character’. And the way we deal with it. There’s the key to getting through it productively and with purpose.
        Take care Nihar.

    1. I am soooo sorry for not responding to this sooner. For some reason I did not get this notification. Thank you so much for your comment and sweet words.
      Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Ohhhhh, I love that @ ‘scars are beautiful’. Yes, they are. At least the inner ones are. They are reminder of lessons learned.
      Thank you so much.

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