Seen the humble moth? Plain brown with a few specks here and there. Would you ever call it beautiful? And then you see a butterfly. And you exclaim at its colours, its dazzling beauty. Yellow specks on a bed of green. Stripes of gold on black. Red streaks on a purple ground. Patches of vibrant green on white tipped wings. An endless world of fascinating colour. And yet, each butterfly was a moth first, a plain-Jane moth – with just specks of brown on a ground of more brown. How dull.
I believe, that is what we are when we come into this world. Untouched, plain brown little moths.
Leading sheltered lives, protected from the outside world by our doting parents and we grow. We grow wings, we learn to fly and still we are dull, plain brown.
Then reality strikes. In all its fury. The death of close one. A relationship torn asunder. The loss of a partner. The untimely death of a child. A debilitating accident. An unquenched thirst. A near-death struggle. The loss of everything you hold dear.
And you feel pain. Pain that reaches into the depth of your being. Gouges out neat red streaks that will never stop bleeding. Cuts open your person and exposes what you really are. And then in that bareness of pain, there’s no one but you. No one but you. And you look around the barren landscape and you have only yourself to help. And as you struggle more and more, the gashes bleed. The old wounds turn to yellow brown scars. New gashes bring out the brilliant red again. And pain strikes in new ways, with new patches and specks of colour and each episode leaves behind a mark. A line in your face. A wrench in your heart. A spasm that cramps the very core of your being.
And you change.
You are no longer that plain brown being. Because the pain has coloured you. It has painted brilliant yellow patches and edged your wings with white. It’s given you bright red streaks and a purple ground to add to the effect. And bits of yellow. And you walk with that pain with pride because now the pain does not own you, you own the pain. And the pain has only made you what you are – unique and truly beautiful. And suddenly you have added colour to the barren brown landscape.
And you are transformed.
From dull and dowdy to vibrant and colourful. But only you know that the red comes from bleeding scars. Only you know the purple comes from old bruises that never cease to hurt. And only you know that the yellow shines when you reach a point where you forgive all those who caused you pain because that has made you what you are. (Those yellow patches are worth their weight in gold.) Not many have them. And you can now walk with your head held high.
And you come out stronger.
And your weakness becomes your strength. And you spread your wings and fly. Only this time everyone exclaims how beautiful those wings are. And you smile. And they see it in your eyes. And they say it’s beautiful. But it’s not beauty. It’s pain. And it’s the colour of pain that’s so beautiful.