Embrace the Struggle

"Where there is no struggle, there is no strength." - Oprah Winfrey

In my spare time, I really enjoy painting and recently have had the opportunity to work on some commissioned pieces.  Last week, I was working on my largest painting to date and was feeling intimidated.  I started out strong but somewhere in the middle, I got lost and it was basically a mess.  I started thinking that I was probably going to have to scrap it and start over. I almost carried it out to the dumpster that evening and instead decided to let it dry so I could try to rework it. I spent the entire evening trying to come up with ways to move forward, or save this painting.  I was really stressed out about it, so much so that I had trouble sleeping and ended up wide awake at 4 am thinking about how I was going to fix it. I then decided since I couldn't sleep, that I would go paint. Guess what, that morning, I got some clarity and ended up reworking it and finishing it. 

As I thought about it after, I realized there was a good life lesson in this struggle.  So many times, it is easy to give up and try to start over when things get messy or we feel lost.  It reminded me of times in my life that I just chose to walk away from things rather than face the mess or go through the struggle.  BUT I am learning that MOST of the time really beautiful things come from the struggle. Just like in the journey of the painting, when I really wrestled with it and kept working - got back up and tried again, it came together and turned out really amazing. 

Maybe you are in the middle of a struggle and can't clearly see the way out or how there will be resolution, this is just a reminder to hang in there and embrace it. Don't throw out the canvas, just get up each morning and find even just one way to add beauty or resolve...you never know what kind of masterpiece might unfold right in front of you!