My former husband and I used to grow hybrid tea roses. They were simply beautiful. One of the secrets to lovely roses, we discovered, was fertilizing with aged cow manure. It seemed to make the plant hardy, and the flowers were large and long-lasting once cut.
I have often thought about how like those roses our lives are. We can take the challenging, painful and difficult parts of our lives—what we call the crap, the manure—and let that become the fertilizer that helps us grow in ways we might not have imagined.
Does that mean that when bad things happen to us, we immediately give thanks for it and start looking for ways it can be used in our lives? Probably not. We have to be real about what's happening and find ways to deal with it. And it's OK to do our share of grumbling, crying and being depressed about it. At some point, however, once we've actually gotten through it, it will be easier to see what lessons the whole experience might contain for us. How have we grown through that difficult experience? What transformation have we experienced?
Look for the fertilizer. Know that it can help you grow and bloom. Know that without fertilizer, we wouldn't have the lovely flowers we so enjoy.