May 31, 2013

No Struggle, No Strength

It's amazing how perspective can change. When I was a kid, summer was as close to nirvana as it got: no daily routine, staying up later, gorgeous weather, potential for things like swimming and vacation and popsicles. As an adult, my mind goes to one point and stays there: will we survive a summer with almost the whole family home all day, every day?

How will I navigate the summer's activities (how on earth does June fill up so fast?) and keep the kids busy enough not to kill each other? I recently thought of something I have read about butterflies. If you cut open a cocoon, thinking to spare the butterfly its struggle, you will actually make it impossible for the butterfly to fly. Breaking open the cocoon and using new-formed wings to push out of the casing are what get the wings strong enough to fly.

No struggle means no strength.

Example after example of this truth flooded my mind: I certainly don't expect to build healthy muscle without lifting some sort of weight; I don't acquire skill playing an instrument and understanding music without many hours of practice and study; I've only come to know my kids and predict their behaviors because I've spent many, many hours with them, learning who they are and how they think.

No strength without struggle.

As we head into summer, perhaps you, too, are facing a struggle (even if it's only a first-world problem, like mine). Today I'm trying to view the summer as training program for a marathon. Today I'm trying to think of how much stronger I might be by the time September rolls around.

Today I'm reminding myself that I want more strength, which means I will have more struggles.

No comments: