"Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity." ~ Og Mandino

These are challenging times for everyone; the Earth itself seems like it is in the labor and delivery room enduring contractions like never before. No one is immune from the pain. From people in Iran dying on the streets for the basic freedoms people in the United States enjoy daily to the stain of racism turning away over 60 innocent children at a Philadelphia swimming club, it is so easy to fall for the trap of fatalism and discouragement.

The labor and delivery room is an ugly place...trust me, I know. They make you strip naked and then replace your comfortable clothing with half a nightgown that leaves a terrible draft on your hindparts. Some doctors require you to get an enema so when you start pushing, nothing but blood and the baby gets on them. They strap you to a monitor to measure the contractions (as if they couldn't tell the baby was knocking a pause in your ability to breathe). There is absolutely NO privacy...the doctor pokes and prods in the most secret places to ensure the baby is in the proper position to be birthed. You are not allowed to eat or drink anything, no matter how hungry and thirsty you are. Your only vestige of comfort is the bed the doctors have you on. Unfortunately, even that betrays you as it transforms into a torture device that pushes your legs straight up in the air and folds you in half to make gravity do its job. I could go on and on. It can be a nightmare!

I said all that to talk about the seed within that time of adversity. It is a seed that develops within a womb upside down and inside out. It is a seed of hope; a seed of triumph! The seed that introduces us to an entirely new future is about to burst forth in our lives! The moment we look that seed in the eye, the focus we once had upon the pain dissipates. Even as our feelings, plans, relationships and circumstances are being sewn back together in recovery, nothing else matters but pouring our love, resources, guidance and energy into that seed that is now living and breathing.

I challenge myself and all those reading to shift focus from the immense pain to the incomparable future that awaits us once all is said and done. Even as an acorn falls from a great oak tree and dies to its small form, it fails to realize that one day, if it focuses in the right direction, a forest will come forth as a result.

There are FORESTS within each of us! I choose to look through the pain to see the future within it. What about you?