I stumbled across this quote the other day while lost in the mires of the Internet:
"A rock must roll many times to become perfectly round.”I don't know who said it, but it really stuck with me. Why? Basically, it means that the rock had to endure a lot of change, movement, and wearing away in order to become perfectly round and smooth. Rock doesn't naturally form in round shapes, but only with a lot of wear and stress does it finally achieve the shape. To sum it up: Life is a Work in Progress. We all want to be in that "round" stage, the part of life where we have gone through the wearing down process. We've undergone the stress and strains life has for us, and we've finally achieved true 'roundness'. Of course we want to be in that stage, because that's when life is finally easy. We have "attained" whatever it is that we have been struggled for, and there are no more trials and tests to help wear down the rough edges of the stone that is our life. The reality is that there is no such thing as being perfectly "round" in life. There are always going to be more edges to wear down, more rough surfaces to sand smooth, and more uneven-nesses to deal with. We will never really 'attain', and we're going to be fighting to be more 'rounded' as we go through life. Coming to grips with that is actually a huge part of being a 'rounder' person. Once you realize that the wear, the stress, and the strain is just what you're going to have to put up with for the rest of your life, you begin to see it as part of the process--rather than the thing that makes you suffer. Consider that age-old analogy we've been reminded of by so many people: the oyster and the pearl. The oyster hates the grain of sand, but only thanks to that annoying little piece of grit are pearls formed. Stop looking at the things that wear you down as the bad things in your life, but start to look at them as the things that will make you into that 'round stone' you want to become. Once you realize that they are just a part of life, they will actually help you to become better in every area. Here's an example of how I can apply it to my life: I'm struggling to find the time to write. I'm struggling to improve the depth of my characters. I'm struggling with emotional problems. I can look at all of these things as the nuisances that I need to get out of the way in order to actually be the writer I want to be. Or, I can look at them as the things that help me to be the writer I want to be. Every character struggles, just like me. Every character is trying to find depth and meaning in life, just like me. Every character has emotional deficiencies, just like me. My life is what is making me 'round', and it is what will help me work toward that perfect state of 'roundness' some day in the distant future. The journey may be painful and long, but it's worth it!