Your shell may shatter, but you will flourish

I like this quote from poet and artist Kahlil Gibran:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

We often feel discomfort when the events of “real” life don’t match our understanding or expectation of how things should unfold. In the sense that Gibran suggests, such pain is a good thing, because it allows us (it forces us) to grow, and in so growing, the borders of our understanding are stretched outwards — our shell enlarged — such that the next potentially painful event that comes along might not hurt so much, situated as it is within (or closer to) the range of experiences that we have already known.

In truth, life is not meant to be entirely comfortable; if it were, we would learn nothing, and we would remain in a position of unending stasis. Your shell may break, but you will not. You cannot grow in an enclosed space.

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