I remember when I was in college and I wrote an essay over the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Anyone who really knows me would say that this book is one of my favorites and so is ZNH. As a matter of fact, ZNH, and many of her comrades of the Harlem Renaissance, just so happens to be an inspiration for my debut novel.
Just like I will never forget the opening line to Their Eyes -- "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board" -- for some reason I can't seem to shake the opening line of that essay about growth. I wrote: "Flowers do not always need sunlight for growth. Sometimes, it is the darkness that causes the organism to bloom."
In this case, I wasn't talking about flowers. I was creating the metaphor for human life. I was making the point that when we mature and develop as stronger mental, spiritual, and emotional beings, sometimes we face unsavory situations along the way.
I want to bring that point up again.
The growth process is uncomfortable. It's nerve-racking. It's annoying at times. It can be awkward. It can be painful too. But, in order for you to get better, be stronger, become wiser, you must go through the experience that will result in transformational change.
I think about a baby's first set of teeth coming in. Many babies experience discomfort during teething. According to babycenter.com, some teething signs are:
Irritability or fussiness
Drooling (which can cause a facial rash)
Swollen, sensitive gums
Gnawing or chewing behavior
Refusing to eat
Think about that for a second. In order for our teeth to grow in, we may very well experience pain or discomfort. We may cry. We may get irritated. We may find ourselves displaying behaviors we wouldn't normally show. But, think about the outcome. When our teeth grows in, we're able to experience the next level of life -- being able to chew solid foods that will help nourish our bodies.
This means, although the process was painful, the result was life-changing.
Do you believe, that once a child who has all of her teeth wants to go back to an all milk or mashed food diet? My guess would be no. Especially after they've experienced those fun little cheerios, French fries, or chicken tenders. Come on!
Same thing goes for us. Everything won't always feel good. Everything won't always go the way you planned. You will get upset. You will want to quit. You will want to blow a fuse and give everyone a piece of your mind.
But, when you remind yourself that there is a purpose to the process, you will value the experience you had to endure.
I know this because you can look back on your life RIGHT NOW and go, "Wow, I thought I was really going to fall apart during that time, but by the time it was over, I was stronger than I was before. I made it through."
Yep, you sure did. You made it through.
So, I've written all this to say, there's a purpose to the process. It may not feel great right now, but it'll all pay off in the end. You'll be better in the long run, and you can help others in their journeys, too. Continue to grow. Continue to learn. Continue to move forward one step at a time.