Once upon a time there was a woman who was best described as “messy and flawed”.
She wasn’t messy in the traditional sense of the word. Her house was neat, but not overly clean. It had just the right amount of dust bunnies to let a visitor know this was the kind of home where real people lived. This woman was messy on the inside. Her brain collected tidbits of information covering many seemingly unrelated subjects. The corners, rooms, and hallways of her mind were jammed with the useless and interesting. Sorting through her mental stockpile gave her something to do on sleepless nights…
Her heart was similarly filled with dozens of emotions, some good, some not so good. She was, after all, human. The battle for space inside sometimes spilled to the outside when she laughed and cried, rejoiced and mourned the various ways life rolled her.
She always tried to improve herself, but she was flawed.
She wanted to be a better listener, a more generous giver, and a supportive friend. Yet attempts to improve in her desired areas never seemed to override her weaker traits. Knowing she would never be perfect wasn’t the problem. She just didn’t want to get complacent about her imperfections. She never wanted to lose the desire to change.
The trouble with this woman was that she had too many possibilities open to her. In an effort to improve, she took on all challenges, which made her life even messier and allowed her flaws to squeeze to the surface in the gaps of her endeavors.
One day, a genie appeared before the woman. “I’ve come to grant you a wish,” he said.
“I’d like to be beautiful and perfect. I want others to see me as valuable and worth fighting for” she replied.
With a wave of his hand she was surrounded by a cloud of smoke and transformed into a lumpy black rock.
“Why would you do this to me?!? It is the exact opposite of what I asked for!”
The genie spoke softly. “The pressures, struggles, and troubles you feel will press down on you for a while but they are necessary for your transformation. When the process is finished, you will emerge as a diamond. You will be valuable, but that is not the end. Even at this point, your evolution will continue as life chips away pieces here and there to refine you and bring forth your brilliance. You need the trials to make you into the best you can be. Only after struggling will you become perfect… beautiful… flawless… and worth the fight. Without these hardships, you will remain a lump of coal.”
Even though she did not realize it, she needed Patience to help her see what she could become…
The patience to recognize that there will be good days and bad days, and it’s OK to wallow in both for a while. The patience to understand that healing doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye, but it takes time, maybe a month, maybe a year, maybe two years, before the sting of the empty bed wears off. The patience to recognize Rome wasn’t built in a day, and sometimes all that’s needed is 500 odd years, 2.5 million square miles, and roughly 50 million people to put things back together.
Allow beauty to shatter you regularly. The loveliest people are the ones who have been burnt and broken and torn at the seams, yet still send their open hearts into the world to mend with love again, and again, and again.
You must allow yourself to feel your life while you’re in it. ~ Victoria Erickson
Living, changing, growing, evolving… these things require tremendous patience.