The world can be a merciless and unforgiving place, where obstacles are incessant and challenges are galore. Just when we believe we have conquered one hurdle, another arises.
And when the impediments we encounter are not external, but internal, the battle becomes even tougher. It’s a battle against our own doubts and apprehensions; and it can be a struggle to find the fortitude to persevere. We become our own adversaries, our own harshest critics.
Nevertheless, even during the most trying of times, something keeps us moving forward. Something that instills hope and fervor within us. For some, it’s their faith, an unwavering belief in a higher power that guides and guards them.
For others, it’s a pure realization, an emotion that there are a few souls in this world who care for us, and will always be there for us through thick and thin. And for some, it’s just an optimistic perception that even during the bleakest of times, there’s still a gleam of light.
Perhaps it’s the manner Creator has fashioned the world’s beauty that keeps us going. The way the sun grows over the horizon, soaking the sky with a thousand shades of pink and gold.
The way the leaves rustle in the wind, fluttering to a melody that only they can hear. The way the stars flicker during night, each one a sign of the infinite possibilities that exist in the universe created by a Supreme Power.
Maybe it’s the kindness of others that gives us liveliness. The way a stranger offers a smile or a helping hand when we need it most. The way our dear ones lift us up when we are feeling low, reminding us of our worth. The way communities rally in times of crisis, demonstrating that even in the face of adversity, we are never truly alone.
But there is something deeper that drives us forward even when the world around us feels like crumbling. It’s the understanding that every crisis, every misfortune, every moment of pain and suffering, is a part of a larger journey. A journey that is certainly unique to us, but one that we all share in some way.
Think of the caterpillar, unhurriedly inching its way across the ground, consumed by its own voracious hunger. It is a tiny creature that is content to simply exist, to eat and grow, and go through the cycle of life. But one day, something changes. A spark of something new, something unusual, kindles within it, and it embarks on spinning itself into a cocoon.
Inside the cocoon, the caterpillar undergoes a transformation that is nothing short of a miracle. Its body dissolves into a sticky mush, and from that slime emerges something entirely new: a beautiful butterfly, with delicate wings that can carry it into the sky!
The butterfly doesn’t mourn the loss of its earlier life as a caterpillar. It doesn’t long for the days of crawling on the ground, of munching on leaves. It accepts its new form, rejoices the freedom of flight, and sets out to explore the world in a way that it never could have before.
We all are like that caterpillar, in several ways. We go through life; consumed by our wishes and wants; never ever realizing that there is something more waiting for us. But when we face ordeal, when we are compelled to confront the darkest aspects of ourselves and the world around us, something changes naturally.
We are strained to shed our old selves, to diffuse into something new. And in that process of transformation, we discover within what we never knew we had. We learn to soar above the challenges that once seemed insurmountable. We learn to see the world in a new way, appreciating life’s beauty as well as complexity.
Look at the world around, and you will spot myriad examples of this process of transformation. Think of the way communities come together in the wake of a catastrophe, rebuilding and restarting in the face of devastation. Think of the way individuals overcome addiction, illness and trauma, emerging on the other side with a newfound appreciation for life.
Of course, it is not always easy. The process of transformation is often quite painful and damn difficult. However in the end, it is worth it. Because in suffering we discover something novel, something crucial, something we could have never expected.
So, the next time you locate yourself in a dark place, bear in mind that all of us have our worries and misgivings, our battles to fight. These struggles shape us; these sufferings give us strength; and the hurting provides the nerve to face each new day with a reformed sense of purpose and grit. Hence, nurture the pain; it brings magnificence!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK