A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it had and it could go no further.
Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
This story has been retold so many times. But since it is Christmas season already, it pays to remind everyone that the only way to live a truly meaningful and satisfying life is by learning how to count your blessings despite the hardships, adversities and struggles that you are going through. Remember, no one is spared from them.
"I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet."
It is all a matter of attitude (the right one at that).
"If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul."
By looking at your challenges as blessings in disguise, you get to act positively and more objectively. However, if you continue to dwell on the hard knocks, wallow in self-pity and get on the blame game, not only would you NOT be able to get your act together but you will also end up with long-term deleterious effects on your mind and body.
So when the going gets rough, remember (and never forget!) that you are made of tougher stuff that can keep you going.