Strength, Wisdom, Courage, These Are The Bags For Our Journey

_I'm thankful for your 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.  The butterfly must care for itself to both emerge and then complete the process of self transformation.

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent.  Caring for myself is an act of survival. 

  – Audre Lorde

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. We can be supported by the sun, to dry ourselves off.  We can be uplifted with the winds.  But we are the ones that must spread out our wings in order to thrive.

Damaged people are dangerous because they know they can survive.

  – LoveFromASelfHammer

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 putting yourself out there to really live life.  It is in fact a gift, this struggle, because all of us have far more strength than we ever dreamed possible.  You must do the thing that you think you cannot do. 

Strength comes from struggle. When you learn to see your struggles as opportunities to become stronger, better, wiser, then your thinking shifts from “I can’t do this” to “I must do this”.

  – Toni Sorenson

Remember Star Wars when Luke is trying to lift his ship and he struggles and gives up.  Then Yoda shows him.  Luke could have done it the first time, but he doubted, he had a lack of faith not in God, but in himself.  You must do the thing that you think you cannot do.  It would not have been placed before you if God didn’t know that you could do it.  It is there so that you can believe it yourself.  To grow your faith, for the next time fear stops you.

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.

  – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Looking at history, I think this quote best describes  two people who suffered in Nazi Germany.  Anne Frank, who still believed even after the things she experienced, that the world is filled with good people.  We can read her diary, as well as the writings of those who new her.  The other is Viktor Frankl.  His book “Man’s Search For Meaning” should be required reading for everyone. 

We run from grief because loss scares us, yet our hearts reach toward grief because the broken parts want to mend. 

  – Brene Brown

When struggles happen to us we have a choice, they can define us or refine us. For Anne and Viktor they refined them. They both chose to reach toward the grief and pain of what was happening to her, to her family, to her people.  They somehow knew, had that inner wisdom to realize that by reaching out, they was in fact healing themselves.  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.

Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure.

  – Bob Marley

Life is short.  Break the rules.  Forgive quickly.  Kiss slowly, like in the romantic movies.  Laugh uncontrollably and giggle whenever you can. Never regret anything that brings smile to your eyes as well as your face.  You take a chance of being wounded by living this way, but living any other way is not really experiencing life.

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice.

   – Ernest Hemingway

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.

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