I like eagles. They face storms with courage and boldness. When a storm is coming every other bird runs away from the storm. The eagle flies into the storm. We, like birds, can run away, be paralyzed when we think that our circumstances are more than we can handle or succeed and grow tremendously in overwhelming circumstances.

What makes a couple and each partner brave enough to embrace obstacles and challenges with confidence and grow stronger despite their circumstances?

They practice! They prepare their minds for action; they focus on what they need to do rather than fearfully ruminating on their inability. They train themselves by embracing every new challenge and develop the skills and strength required for it. Each time they are more confident that this is a springboard as they have brought solutions to precedent challenges. It should encourage each one of us as in the present time it seems that most of us are having more opportunities to embrace challenges and develop more problem-solving mindsets and skills. Each one of us can learn from someone else to develop problem solving skills.

Because you don’t know how to do something does not mean that it is impossible. You just need to learn it from someone else.  Luckily, right now, our society offers us more options and opportunities to share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others – particularly through therapy.  That’s why I love my profession. I have the privilege to be invited to listen and connect to others and their challenging experiences as well as help them identify the strength within to take on the battles they face. I love to watch eagles grow!

I was told a few years ago a story by an unknown author that shows that so often, just a change of perspective on one circumstance can transform the way one lives life! How we see and interpret the struggle can make all the difference in how well we weather the storm.

“A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So, the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, was nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If we were allowed to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!” Embrace the wind and strengthen your wings! Learn the skills you need to overcome your relational challenges!

Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT

www.sandiegofamilytherapy.net