Self-realization is not a permanent solution for avoiding pain, nor permanently achieving pleasure. It is learning to dance with both extremes without being hijacked by either. It is seeing the face of the Divine / of Love in all creation; in every experience; it’s echo reverberating through every cell, starting from within. This requires the willingness to relinquish the perception of a separate self to the whole, to divine will; the spirit of Guidance. And whether we go through the journey of transformation willingly or not, we ALL eventually emerge a butterfly. Solitude & inward reflection is necessary, as a chrysalis provides shelter, and winter-cover protects the fragile seed as it discovers its own potential.
When we emerge to open our wings; just as a flower blossoms; when we share our beauty with the world, we are bound to experience profound gratitude for the bitter cold that shielded us from sunlight; for the struggle to free ourselves from our cocoons, and for every bitter leaf we ate along the way.