The last time I had dinner with my family, I felt overwhelming gratitude. I was happy and content. Sadly, it has taken me many years and much struggle to reach this point, but I have finally found peace. My husband asked me later, “Would you have believed ten years ago that you would feel this way?” Not a chance!
My dad’s death has opened many doors for his wife. I am sure she would have preferred to avoid the sadness of his loss, but she couldn’t. The choices she has made since his death are probably not the same ones she would have made before his death. She has taken a bad situation and found the golden thread.
Being an awkward child, I fought learning how to ride my bike. I was content running after all the kids on our block as they glided around on their bicycles. Finally my family had enough and I was forced to learn something most children can’t wait to master. It took much patience, and quite a few tears—mostly from those trying to teach me—but I finally got it. After all the struggle, my life improved. Something that had seemed impossible now was effortless.
Life can be the same way. We instinctively recoil when a difficulty is placed in our lap. As if it were a snake, we panic and push it away, pretending it doesn’t exist. We try to get as far away as possible. But this often just prolongs the agony. Struggling is an indicator that we are under construction. It means that we are changing and learning, not only about things around us, but about our own strength. It may require patience and quite a few tears, but after all the struggle, something that seemed impossible will become effortless. We will emerge like butterflies, amazed at our own capacity to transform.