The pain that comes with change is part of growth.

I once read an article about a moth emerging from a cocoon. In its emergence it appeared to go through incredible pain. Its body shook, writhed, and squirmed trying to escape the cocoon. A scientist observing this felt sorry for the moth and decided to help it. He cut away the cocoon, thereby eliminating the pain and releasing the moth--but it was premature. To his dismay he observed the moth slowly flutter, shiver and die. He did not realize that by cutting open the cocoon he would cause the death of the moth. In this particular species the moth needed to wriggle, writhe and go through the pain of emergence because this enabled the fluid to enter the wings helping the moth to fly.

In human experience, there are very few things as painful as adolescence and the emergence of adulthood. Sometimes we want to eliminate the pain of learning who we are, or cut short the anxiety of becoming someone new.

Teenagers often resort to the use of drugs or alcohol or some other experience that deadens the senses and creates the impression that life is easier or smoother than it really is. Parents sometimes shelter their children thinking they will safeguard them from harm and the influence of their peers. The intentions can be very good, but the results can be very deadly.

The pain of teenage years may not be easy to endure. The illusion of a short cut to growth and maturity is very alluring. The danger, however, is that in trying to eliminate pain we might actually be inflicting death. Like the moth, the struggles of adolescence enable us to survive in the adult world.