Recently I read a story of Swami Sukabhodhananda -
A man goes to a shop, picks up a beautiful cup and exclaims "My god! This cup is so beautiful" Suddenly the cup starts talking to the man. The cup starts saying "O man, I am beautiful right now, but what was the state of my being before the pot-maker made me a beautiful pot?”
”Before I was sheer mud and the pot-maker pulled me out of the mud from the mother earth and I felt why that pot-maker is so cruel, he has separated me from mother earth. I felt a tremendous pain. And the pot-maker said, "Just wait." Then he put me and churned me, when I was churned I felt so giddy, so painful, so stressful, I asked the pot-maker "Why are you so cruel?" the pot-maker said, "Just wait." Then he put me into a oven and heated me up, I felt completely burnt. There was tremendous pain and I asked the pot-maker "Why are you so cruel?" and the pot-maker said, "Just wait."
”Then he poured hot paint on me and I felt the fume and the pain, I again asked the pot-maker "Why are you so cruel?" and the pot-maker said, "Just wait." Then again he put me into an oven and heated it to make me more strong, I felt life is so painful hence pleaded the pot-maker and the pot-maker said, "Just wait." And after that the pot-maker took me to the mirror and said, "Now look at yourself". And surprisingly I found myself so beautiful.”
Isn’t the story very inspiring?
People want to have good time, with no unpleasant experiences, trials, difficulties, adversities. They are, however, merely chasing rainbows. The easy life they seek constantly eludes them, simply because there is no such thing. The true object of life is that man may attain wisdom through experience. This cannot be accomplished by giving in to the difficulties of life, but only by overcoming them. The only life that is easy is the life of the strong soul who has overcome. So, it is impossible to have an easy life, and, if it were possible, then life would be not worth living,
A biology teacher was teaching his students how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. He told the students that in the next couple of hours, the butterfly would struggle to come out of the cocoon. But no one should help the butterfly. Then he left. The students were waiting and it happened. The butterfly struggled to get out of the cocoon, and one of the students took pity on it and decided to help the butterfly out of the cocoon against the advice of his teacher. He broke the cocoon to help the butterfly so it didn't have to struggle anymore. But shortly afterwards the butterfly died.
When the teacher returned, he was told what happened. He explained to this student that by helping the butterfly, he had actually killed it because it is a law of nature that the struggle to come out of the cocoon actually helps develop and strengthen its wings. The boy had deprived the butterfly of its struggle and the butterfly died.
Apply this same principle to our lives. Nothing worthwhile in life comes without a struggle. When god gives us lot of trouble, it appears god is very cruel but we need patience and we have to wait. When bad things happen to good people, they become better and not bitter. All difficulties are part of a cosmic design to make us really beautiful. We need patience, we need understanding, and we need the commitment to go through in a very calm and wise way.
With this understanding, let us not be against difficulty. A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor can you get the finest steel without putting it through fire. Understand difficulty is a part of a purifying process. A purifying process at present which we cannot understand and hence we need faith and we need trust. Patience is one of the most important qualities to develop if we care about personal growth. It’s also one of the most difficult.
Every successful person we see deserves our total respect. The successful persons must have battled through many difficulties and disappointments to get to where they are today. But it's all part of the process and the lessons we learn will make us a much stronger persons.
Henry Thomas Hamblin said beautifully, “Difficulties and troubles there will be in every life, and sometimes disaster and heartbreak, when the very earth slides from under the feet, yet, by calling upon the Power within, it is possible to rise from the ruins of cherished hopes stronger and "greater" through experience. Happiness and true success depend upon how the troubles and difficulties of life are met. Adversity comes to all, but if it is met in the right manner even failure can be made the stepping-stone to success. Trouble comes to all, but, while it makes some people stronger and better in every way, it submerges others so that they never rise again. The trouble is the same; it is how it is met that makes the difference.”