Differences

“We find comfort among those who agree with us–growth among those who don’t.” ~Frank A. Clark

Thank goodness for the differences in the world! Without them we would sit fat and happy in the mud, never leaving our comfort zone, never yearning for more, never seeking betterment of ourselves and the world, blissfully squishing the clay between our toes.

Hmmm…let me sit for a moment with that image. There is definitely something to be said for squishing mud between one’s toes.

But, after a while, even that would become boring. We need the stimulation of adversity: hot sun and cooling rain from which springs forth new ideas and impetus. The dirt around us thickens and hardens, then softens again with a shower inspiring change and growth. 

It is not easy to shed the shell we grow around us, to break through tough layers and bare our souls to ourselves and the world. Growing pains abound and we feel tempted again to shrink back into the safety we know too well.

“Agree with me so I don’t have to grow. Be like me so I don’t have to open my mind. Go my way so I can easily understand you and the world. Look like me so I don’t have to trust and open my heart.”

And yet, with all the deflecting of darts and daggers, compressing of compassion, sorting out of broken-heart shrapnel, building of defenses, weeping over losses never again found, mending of mistakes, I would not trade it all for a puddle of mud.

I am stronger because of it. I love more deeply because of it. I blossom brightly in spite of it. I continue to grow through what I go through.

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