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Hold Fast in Times of Suffering
Photography by alex grey

Hold Fast in Times of Suffering

by Bryan Ellis bryan ellis
Self Development

Have you ever seen a caterpillar struggling to free itself from the cocoon? It works very hard to emerge as a learn to spread it's wings and fly. For some it can be almost heartbreaking to watch, and people have been known to give a helping hand from time to time, hoping to end the poor caterpillar's apparent pain and helplessness.

But anyone that helps a caterpillar out of its cocoon unfortunately finds a deeper heartbreak than before, when the thing they wanted to free cannot survive, and emerges into the world no longer caterpillar, and not yet butterfly. Unprepared to navigate and unfit to fly, it dies soon after.

Nature teaches us that every potential butterfly needs the cocoon to strengthen their wings, and until the cocoon breaks from the inside, it's wings are not yet strong enough for flight. Any external help only hinders and often kills the hopeful butterfly. Outside interference on an inside job brings nothing positive to the butterfly or to the helping heart that only intended to be of service.

And it is an inside job. Suffering lives within us to fulfill a certain role. Struggle belongs to each one of us. No one can reach in and remove it. But full acceptance eventually transmutes this feeling of helplessness into a gift, even an opportunity, and we begin to realize that what's being broken down and torn apart isn't actually us, me, you...but the limiting beliefs that are creating the very disturbance in the first place. Our limitations are being broken down to allow for the growth of a deeper and more accurate and liberating understanding. No different than when we exercise with weights or through vigorous yoga asanas, breaking down muscle, purposely submitting ourselves to a physical struggle for the sake of renewed growth, strength, and beauty.

Unfortunately, many of us identify with our limitations, so we see and feel ourselves being torn apart with them. But in that breaking down, there is a tremendous space for growth, and it will be filled with love, vitality, energy and endurance, as long as we are willing to let go of the mental and physical tension that our struggle is trying to eliminate from our systems. And at times it might truly feel as if no one can or wants to help, but just maybe....we could consider the possibility --- that somewhere, someone's heart is breaking, knowing that there's nothing they can do from the outside, but hopeful that soon you can fly together.

Hold fast to your natural desire for beauty, love, truth, and intelligence, and recognize that in your struggle you are being refined into the perfect expression of the infinite being that you are. You are preparing your wings for flight.