We Are Stronger Than We Know

_I am thankful for my struggle, because without that, I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength._ Alex

When the butterfly has completed its change, the last step is to break through the chrysalis and unfurl its wings. Once they are dry, it is time to fly.
There is a story about how if you help the butterfly out of its coverings, it is crippled. This is because it needs to complete its growth through the releasing of its casing. If you enlarge the hole it creates, it deforms the wings. The same is true for us.  It is the persistant beating-pushing-stretching of the wings that breaks open the casing and allows the butterfly to fly free.  The Grand Canyon was carved out of rock by water, persistence is a powerful thing.
Sometimes life’s struggles are to help us realize that we need to grow stronger to complete our journey. Being courageous requires us to be vulnerable. It is a sign of strength when we put ourselves out there. You can’t really experience life, if you live without risking failure.  The reality is that the strongest people feel the pain of change, they understand it, and they accept it as part of the growth process.  They realize as Thomas Monson said, “Good timber does not grow with ease.  The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.”
A meme I collected said:
It will hurt.
It will take time.
It will require dedication.
It will require willpower.
You will need to make healthy decisions.
It requires sacrifice.
You will need to push your body to its max.
There will be temptation.
But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it’s worth it.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Looking at history, I think this quote best describes what we know of Anne Frank, who still believed even after the things she experienced, that the world is filled with good people.

When struggles happen to us we have a choice, they can define us or refine us. For Anne they refined her. Those who become defined by their struggles are true victims. They can’t move past the horrible thing that happened. They encase themselves with what happened and choose safety out of fear. They stop growing, becoming deformed inside, until they learn to “let it go”. To break out of the casing and unfurl their wings.

The best advice comes from Bob Marley, “Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure.” You take a chance of being wounded by living this way, but as Ernest Hemingway said, “The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice.”

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.