A favorite story of mine is Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. This is a story about personal transformation, of discovering inner beauty and talent. I relate on some intangible level.
The passage that captivates my attention and explains my story: "But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck's nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan's egg. He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him..."
When I learned to find and believe that my value is not dependent on the outside world, the strangest and most glorious thing started to happen - the outside world miraculously started to change around me. I learned how to be in a world with a cultivating trust of my belonging and purpose.
The events of our lives, big or seemingly insignificant interactions (real or fancied) and the roles we take on, shape us in unique and complex ways. The messages we've heard, and the perceptions we have formed, become the truths by which we live. We each develop ways of 'showing up' in the world that help us maintain the status quo, until one day we determine how much work that takes - and we find ourselves sideways. Then, if we are lucky (faith without works fits here), we find our flock and we fly.