Eating Thorns

In her book “Tears to Triumph,” Marianne Williamson shares one of the rarer traits of hungry peacocks – sometimes they are willing to eat thorns when food is especially scarce. It is purported that ingesting the thorns is in some way responsible for producing the beautiful plumage male peacocks are known for.

Whether this is scientifically true is up for debate, however it provides us with a beautiful metaphor. The things that are often hardest to digest, are the things that transform us in the most positive ways. The hard-edged “bitter thorns” of human experience whether it be the loss of a job, a loved one, heartbreak,  betrayal from a friend are our initiation leading us from sorrow to triumph. The greatest lessons did not come when everything was going well, but the greatest lessons came when life threw us a curve ball. 

You often hear people say, “One day, you will look back on this time as one of the best things to happen,”  as though they already know.  I always say, “2011 was one the worst years of my life,” and it was. Anything that could go wrong, did. I can look back now and think, it wasn’t all bad, and I learned some valuable lessons about myself despite all the agony.  Through all the emotional pain, I experienced forgiveness for myself and others. Suffering betrayal, I experienced the incredible power of forgiveness and compassion. 

Anything and everything if we will allow it, can be a platform for a miracle.  Eating “thorns” aren’t all bad as we emerge through the suffering more loving human beings. The loss of love, a business deal gone bad or loss of a friendship force us to look at the darkness within ourselves and choose love which is our light.