When cardiologist, Dr. Terry Gordon, received the devastating news that his young son, Tyler, was severely injured in an automobile accident, he found himself embarking on a spiritual journey to heal his own heart along with his son. It is detailed in his new book : No Storm Lasts Forever: Transforming Suffering Into Insight (Hay House) . The following is from his introduction:
Life is not a random set of experiences; it is a learning curve. At each level we are offered potential lessons. From the encounter, we may choose to gain insight and progress on to a higher path, or we may decide to ignore the experience and remain stagnant. Either way, we will be tested. If we fail to learn from the instruction provided, it will be offered to us in some fashion again and again until such time that we finally get it. What we are to learn doesn’t necessarily become fully apparent at first glance; it may take time and only be understood with clarity once more pieces are added to the puzzle.
I once held the belief that my spiritual development was something I could put on the back burner of life. I assumed that I would tap into it down the road when I have the luxury of more time. I looked forward to that, anticipating being able to nurture my spirituality once everything else settled in to a comfortable place. I have since changed my mind. Recently, circumstances unfolding in my life have resulted in a shift in the paradigm of my thought. I now appreciate that my spiritual development is of critical importance. Its evolution is something not to be delayed until the tomorrows of life. The advancement of my spiritual awakening has become not only a desire; it has taken on the priority of being essential for my very survival.
As a physician who on a daily basis dealt with life-and-death circumstances, I understand that our existence in its present form is tenuous at best. Its course can be altered in an instant. Having experienced firsthand such a dramatic change, I have been challenged to lead my family through a quagmire of immense suffering. My wife, Angela, and I worked very hard to raise our four children, nurturing them in an environment filled with love. Our hopes and dreams for them were what every parent wishes for their children: stability in their world, happiness in their lives, and most important, peace in their hearts.
Life was perfect! Our three daughters―Mattie-Rose, Laila, and Britt―had graduated from college with degrees in education. Our son, Tyler, was enrolled at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, having just completed his sophomore year studying business.
Then just when we thought we had it all figured out, we were thrown a curveball. Life as we knew it came crashing down. The pages of my book No Storm Lasts Forever offer a journaling of the experience. I have never kept a diary; I always thought it was silly to write something about myself that’s so private and revealing. I assumed that the underlying reason others did catalog their feelings was the subconscious hope that someone else would discover their words. When first suggested to me, I quite frankly dismissed the idea of journaling. But I must share with you that when our tragic event occurred I initially found it extremely difficult to talk about. I needed the time in order to allow the experience to be absorbed into the deepest recesses of my soul, where it would be pondered over and over again. It would be in that silent space that I would search for meaning.
No Storm Lasts Forever will offer you insight into my deepest thoughts as I navigated through this tumultuous trek. When I first began the process of expressing in words my journey, I soon found that one thought would trigger another. On occasion, they would lead me on a tangential path, only to find that I had been taken to a place I may not have found had I not placed my thoughts in written form. Journaling also allowed me to distill my ideas down to the most elemental level, then to expand on them, exploring places deep within that I had never before recognized. It provided me with incredible clarity in the midst of the chaos I was experiencing.
Once completed, the journal imparted to me an unencumbered view of the whole process, revealing the progress I had made along this, at times, dreadful path. Writing enabled me to explore my thoughts and feelings in the pursuit of relieving the most profound pain and suffering I had ever experienced. I grew along the way―and for that, I am profoundly grateful.
The result of my self-exploration and the discoveries made along the way were nothing short of miraculous. The process turned out to be extremely therapeutic for me. And as an added bonus, journaling saved me a lot of money I would have wasted on expensive psychoanalysis! When my journals were shared with a few of my closest friends, it was suggested that I share my inner thoughts with others, so that those in pain might benefit from my experience. The pages of No Storm Lasts Forever are not meant to imply that I am enlightened. The truth is quite the opposite. What I believe is that through the grace of God, I have been granted a glimpse of what that might be!
This post is an excerpt from Dr. Terry Gordon’s new book No Storm Lasts Forever: Transforming Suffering into Insight. Dr. Terry Gordon, a Cleveland Clinictrained cardiologist, practiced within mainstream medicine for over two decades.