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The caterpillar and the butterfly is the epitome of beauty grounded in struggle. The process of morphing from a caterpillar into a butterfly is actually a very painful process. It’s hard to see when we are in the middle of the struggle, but when you arrive on the other side, 99% of the time, you begin to see where the beauty was hidden or when it emerged. Even in death there is more waiting to be seen. For almost everything, the beauty of the struggle is there waiting to be seen.
It’s no secret that I suffer from depression. Some say it’s due to circumstances surrounding me and others say it’s a chemical imbalance in my brain. Maybe it’s a combination of the two. Either way, it’s there and it comes in waves. And when it does, those are HUGE times of struggle for me and everyone around me. If you aren’t inflicted with this debilitating disease, it’s hard for you to have empathy for those that do. It’s a foreign thing that seems like an easy fix to some.
This isn’t about depression though. This is about the beauty that you can find amidst or after a bout of depression or any struggle.
My depression has hit me hard the past 3-4 years. It’s been hell. I go in and out of it. And it sucks. I won’t ever say that I “enjoy” being in those dark times because it’s in those dark times that I have even wanted to take my life. Depression is an ugly devil!! During those times of depression though, I begin put a lot of stock into who I am as a person. Granted there are better ways to do that, but with me, that’s when I do my greatest internal work. It’s in those times that I peel apart every part of my soul and dissect and inspect everything I’ve done and everything I am to become.
Know this though – there is beauty to be found in your struggle. Your success is dependent on your failures. If you don’t have those dark times, it’s not to say you won’t do the internal hard work, but it may take longer. If you ask someone to describe how they have come to certain point in their life, most often they will always highlight the struggles that got them to where they are currently.
Times that are truly annihilating to your soul are the ones that move you forward.
3 ways to embrace the beauty of your darkness
- Take your time! Don’t rush through the seasons of hardness. Everyone wants to sprint out of them, but in doing so, you aren’t opening up yourself to the possibilities of humbling yourself and learning through them.
- Let’s others be the light! It’s ok if it’s not your time to shine. Let others be the shining light in your darkness. They are there because they have also known and felt the darkness. They are put in your path to be that guiding light.
- JOURNAL! It’s so easy to forget some of the depths of emotions and despair when we are out of the dark. Journaling when you are in the darkness is what will later help you reflect on your experiences and continue to use them as tools to grow.
So – take the times of struggle and know that there is beauty to be seen and had. You will see it in time. You will emerge to be that great butterfly. You will leave the dark pits of despair and fly into the great blue sky!!