Fulfillment / Relationships

Our Yearning to ‘Fly’

Easy is comfortable, but is it rewarding?

We are creatures made for experiences bigger than ourselves. We enjoy convenience, yes, but something deeper in us comes alive when we surpass what we think are nature’s limits. Whether it’s learning something new like a sport, language, or musical instrument, overcoming a disability, or crossing cultural barriers — once we achieve what we imagined we could never do, there is an exhilarating thrill that fills us.

These are moments we see that to be human is not just to accept imperfection with humility. To be human means possessing the capacity to “fly”. To be human is to yearn for transcendence. And transcendence captivates more than the status quo because it gives us big dreams to live for and fall in love with.

 

“We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.”

LeeAnn Taylor

 

But why do our untapped energies remain unlocked? Why do we choose easy over challenging? Why do we reject the allure of transcendence? Fear.

Or to be more specific, the fear of suffering. Even if the glories of transcendence move us, we also know that any form of growth, any attempt to “fly” is uncomfortable and difficult.

Learning something new hurts. Overcoming imperfection is usually tedious. Reaching new heights requires embracing pain.

 

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

Lance Armstrong

 

But there’s such a thing as good pain. Good pain empowers growth and pushes us to new heights. Good pain is always only temporary.

This is what transcendence promises. It whispers into our souls that the suffering that comes with beating limits will one day pass. And when that day comes, all that will remain is the thrill and fulfillment of achieving something you never thought was possible. This thrill is what makes the pain worth it.

About the Contributor

Simone Lorenzo teaches undergraduate theology and interdisciplinary studies at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Her two graduate degrees reflect her eclectic interests: an M.T.S. from the John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C., and an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore. When she isn’t writing, teaching, or sitting in Manila’s notorious traffic jams, she enjoys baking, running, and spending time with family and friends. She publishes articles once in a while for aleteia (http://aleteia.org/author/simone-lorenzo/) and blogs at Eavesdropping on Athena (https://medium.com/eavesdropping-on-wisdom).

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