From the Pressure of Tragedy, Coal Can become Diamond

Apr 22 , 2022
By Eden Sahle

Since my father’s passing, my health has been deteriorating. I was grieving deeply and unable to have proper sleep. I went without food for days. It felt like all my senses had disappeared. I did not feel hunger, thrust or get tired. I lived like this for over three months. I weakened mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Recently, I went to a hospital abroad to check the reason for my persistent chest pain that started the day of my father’s sudden passing. I have been diagnosed with broken heart syndrome, aka stress cardiomyopathy, which is caused by extreme anxiety or stress that disrupts the heart's proper function of pumping blood.

This reversible condition can be fatal in rare cases if the stress level is not managed. The doctor told me to take matters into my hands and take myself out of the emotional distress. He said good health is a decision away and that I am the one who can help myself. Letting myself suffer is no different than slow and intentional suicide. Somehow, his advice made a lot of sense. He was kind enough to tell me his losses and pains and how he overcame them by deciding to move forward no matter how dreadful and unbearable life got.

Taking his advice, I learned that life is potentially meaningful and tolerable under any conditions, even those which are most miserable beyond comprehension. I have discovered that we all have the potential within ourselves to decide to get better despite the awful conditions we are passing through in life.

Within ourselves resides the ability to thoughtfully turn life's painful aspects into something constructive, making every day count. Resilience is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal where a person knows what to do at times of crisis and joyful times and how to handle things in any given situation.

In the face of tragedy and given our human potential, we possess the ability to turn suffering into a higher goal and give greater meaning to life and death. Finding a reason and purpose to live for is where the progress starts. Life is not how much we have to live by but what we have to live for; having the means but not the meaning in life leaves us hollow.

After encountering the tragic passing of my father and friend, I have rediscovered the meaning of life. Like everyone who died, my father left without taking anything from his hard work, money, or property, leaving it all behind. I am proud of my father, who has never been concerned about money.

"Instead of accumulating wealth that we do not get to take in death, why not create fulfilling experiences and share it with others," he used to say.

Knowing what we live for and what we should do for the time we have in this world gives our life purpose. As for me, among other things, I live for my fiancé, who is my friend and inspiration. I found being there for others to make their lives better by consistently dedicating my incomes and life experiences gives me fulfilment; it gives my life noble meaning.

The will and mental readiness to move forward in any tragic circumstance is the much-needed therapy we can give ourselves. Feeding our soul with self-encouragement and endurance helps us think clearer and live better for a greater cause.

As the saying goes, consistency creates habits and our habits shape our life. After all, we cannot control what happens to us, but we always control how we react to it. As painful as it sounds in life, we shall learn that an ending is always followed up with a new beginning. Until we begin crossing the bridges of happiness, sadness, and everything in between, we cannot begin to explore our full potential.

Whether we choose to move on or stay behind stuck in life’s traumas and tragedies, life goes on, leaving the choice to us. Decisions, at times, do not come easy. We have to dare to experience pain, sorrow, disappointment, and setback and still have the courage to move on. It takes a disciplined mind, prayer, and the willingness to let tragedies strengthen our weakness.

As a diamond is a lump of coal until it passes through pressure that gives it the sparkle and allure, so are we. We often cannot change a situation that causes our suffering, but we can still choose our attitude and bring a different outcome to help us recover. If we have the will, even the most hopeless situation that we cannot change may push us to rise above the challenges in our way.

PUBLISHED ON Apr 22,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1147]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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