I was reading an article recently about evolution and the earth and biology and science. Yes I’m a geek and I’ve come to terms with that. I read that if an animal population faces a dramatic environmental crisis, about 70% of the animal population will die. But about 30% of the same population will survive and live, because they learned to adapt. And that remaining 30% of the population will be super strong, because of their adaptation. 70% die and 30% live to get stronger.
This means that every environmental crisis that decimates a population is a forcing function that makes the remaining population stronger and fitter.
The disaster forces adaptation and the adaptation increases the strength of the population.
No disaster, no adaptation, no increase in strength. In other words, the crisis/the disaster is incredibly valuable for making the overall population stronger.
You can see where I’m going with this, right?
Extrapolate this to our personal lives, to our human lives, and the same message holds true.
It frequently takes a crisis that decimates us in order to force us to adapt and grow stronger. In order to become fitter and stronger, we must be exposed to disasters that force us to evolve and grow. We must have a breakdown before the breakthrough in our lives.
Yes I know that we all like our lives better when things are comfortable and stable and all our needs are being met. And we all need those phases in our life; we all depend on those phases in life. Life cannot always be in crisis. We all need some stability.
But if we have too much stability, if we have constant stability, we will never grow stronger.
I know it’s a mental stretch to look at personal disasters this way, but here is the most honest truth I can write today:
It’s possible to be grateful for the disasters that occur in our life, because it is exactly those disasters that help us adapt and become stronger. If we never had a crisis, we wouldn’t be forced to grow. And if we didn’t grow, we wouldn’t ever find greater happiness in our life.
When you’re in the middle of a crisis, all you really want is for the pain and madness to stop. When you’re suffering you really just want to find the end of the suffering. You want to find the ice that will stop the swelling or the advil that will make the headache fade. So I know it’s hard to see the value in the pain, but I assure you the value is there.
What I hope for you today is that somewhere in the midst of the challenges you have in your life, you can find faith that the crisis you are facing is valuable.
I hope you can remind yourself that the crisis, the breakdown, the angst you are experiencing is precisely necessary to help you grow. Whatever your disaster is, try to think of it as a gift. It may be wrapped in some god-awful wrapping paper, but underneath the ugliness, there is something valuable that will lead you on a path to more happiness, more satisfaction and more joy in your life.
I hope you can believe that. Because I believe that to be true. The joy is worth the pain and the pain won’t last forever.