There is a story* I once heard at a time when I was feeling particularly lost in the sea of uncertainty, about everything: who I was, who I wanted to be, and the space between the two. And then I heard these words. Somehow, in someway they were everything I didn't know I needed to hear...
There once was a crow who lived in the forest. Everyday he would fly high into the sky and look down at the world below. And every night he would think to himself I am the unhappiest bird in the world. My feathers are so dark and plain. I am nothing remarkable.
The next day the crow set out on a mission to find the happiest bird in the world. So he flew out of his forest until he found what he was searching for- the zoo.
In the pond, he saw a swan gracefully swimming while others watched her delicate strokes. As he flew over he said to her, "You must be the happiest bird in the world! Your feathers are so white and mine are so dark. Everyone marvels at your beauty."
"No not I," responded the swan. "My color is so plain, while the flamingo's color is so bright. Go see the flamingo, he must be the happiest bird in the world."
So the crow flew onward until he saw the flamingo standing on it's long spindly legs leading to the pink feathers that appeared to the simple crow as almost a decoration. "You must be the happiest bird in the world! Your feathers are so bright!"
"No not I," responded the flamingo. "I only have one color while the parrot has two. Go see the parrot, he must be the happiest bird in the world."
The crow, determined now, flew to see the parrot resting his marvelous wings on his perch. "You must be the happiest bird in the world! Your feathers are two colors and so bright."
"No not I," responded the parrot. "I only have two colors, but the peacock has so many! Go see the peacock, he must be the happiest bird in the world."
The crow, beginning to feel frustrated, continued flying though the zoo until he reached the peacock's cage.
"I have flown all over looking for you," he said. "Finally I have found you. You, the peacock, have to be the happiest bird in the world. You are so beautiful and everyone admires and loves you."
"No, not I," the peacock knowingly said.
The crow, confused and angry after his hopeless search, said in desperation, "Who? Who then is the happiest bird in the world?"
After a pause in which all that could be heard was the wind wildly whispering above, the peacock finally answered.
"You. Because you are free."
*I tried to keep the story as similar as to when I first heard it, but I have added detail as I felt needed for the intended effect. I claim no ownership to the origins of this story.