What doesn't kill us makes us bitter. I used to believe that to be both funny and true. Years later I learned that pain could also be the touchstone for personal growth, which of course points back to the original saying, "what doesn't kill us makes us better." Not funny, but perhaps closer to the truth. Or at least the truth I choose to believe in these days. So, having recently experienced a bit of pain, am I better? Well, let's review: I think I'm fairly immune to name-calling now. I'm not sure I could have made that claim a few months ago. I've also come to see that the things I used to think were big deals, are not. Problems appear to be relative. If you have a big one, it makes all the others seem almost charming in comparison. And finally, when your life takes a path you could never have foreseen, it's humbling. In a good way. It's kind of like a friendly reminder from the universe that while you may think you have the starring role in the movie of your life, you're actually just a bit player trying to grab a quesadilla off the craft services table when no one's looking.
So, to sum up: I now have a thicker skin, I'm less likely to sweat the small stuff, and, perhaps most importantly, I have a renewed sense of humility. All in all, better.