Wisdom From Lost’s John Locke

Wisdom From Lost’s John Locke
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I am a gigantic fan of Lost and recently I’ve started re-watching it from the first episode.

For all of you weirdos that have never seen it (I say that very lovingly of course), Lost is about a group of people who are plane-crashed on a mysterious Island. All of the survivors are damaged human beings, they all have complicated and rich histories, they all have secrets and struggles. They all have things that they are ashamed of, and by the end of the series, each and every one of them comes into their own, embraces who they really are, and they all realize that they are stronger than their pasts.

I was watching an episode a few days ago and I fell in love with a certain concept. You see, when I first watched Lost years ago, it was before my “big change”, before I realized all of the things that I hated about myself were fixable, before I realized I had the power to change. This time around while watching it, my heart just went “Yesyesyes” at this part of the episode.

The exchange takes place between John Locke, a man who knows all about suffering. Before the plane crash he was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. He was constantly told that he couldn’t do anything. After the plane crash he wakes up on the Island and he can walk again. Charlie, another survivor, is a washed up Rock Star who also happens to be addicted to heroin, cue troubled times for Charlie.

Locke realizes what’s going on with Charlie and asks Charlie to give him the last of his heroin, which Charlie does. The next few days are a struggle for Charlie, he starts going through withdrawals, he starts doubting his worth on the Island, he starts thinking about the past and the things that validate his feelings of worthlessness.

He asks Locke for the drugs back and Locke tells him no, but if he asks two more times he can have them. This takes place in the jungle on the second time.

Locke: What do you suppose is in that cocoon, Charlie?
Charlie: I don’t know. A – a – a butterfly, I guess.
Locke: No, it’s much more beautiful than that. That’s a moth cocoon. It’s ironic – butterflies get all the attention, but moths, they spin silk. They’re stronger. They’re faster.
Charlie: That’s wonderful, but…
Locke: You see this little hole? This moth’s just about to emerge. It’s in there right now, struggling. It’s digging it’s way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it – take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free – but it would be too weak to survive. Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening it. Now this is the second time you’ve asked me for your drugs back… ask me again, and it’s yours. 

Gotta love that right? I realized how true that was and it made me giddy that I could fully understand. Without my struggles I wouldn’t be who I am today. If someone would have just come along and fixed all of my problems (like I wished so very many times that they would) then this Dominee right here, writing about all of the stuff that this Dominee writes about, wouldn’t exist.

Every struggle that you go through makes you stronger. 

You might wish with every fiber of your being that someone was there to stop the suffering (most times that only person that can stop it is you) but surviving it makes you stronger. It makes you more prepared to face the next struggle. Even if you don’t see it now, or a year from now, or five years from now, doesn’t mean it’s not buried under there somewhere. So often we hide our struggles behind layers of shame, fear, and guilt and that stops us from seeing the strength and the other gifts that come out of those situations.

To stand up and say, “This is what I went through. This is what I learned. Now I am stronger.” Is one of the greatest gifts of wisdom you can give yourself. Share your story. When you share your struggles and what you’ve learned from them, then you empower others to do the same.

What struggles have strengthened you? What struggles do you still feel shame and guilt about? Can you look deep within yourself and find any gifts that came from that?


  1. Avatar
    Renee Lynn A
    September 1, 2012 / 9:47 am

    You know I love this ~ Lost is/was a source of MAJOR inspiration and absolute joy. I wrote about it on a Blog post a few weeks back and am currently working on a post regarding mostly Kate with a little bit of Jack and Sawyer.

    Loves and blessings to you!

  2. Avatar
    September 1, 2012 / 10:01 am

    Thank you! I love Sawyer, he's my favorite so I look forward to reading your post!

  3. Avatar
    September 1, 2012 / 10:38 am

    I am a weirdo :) one day I will get around to watching this series, but I haven't so far because I'm not very good at sticking with TV schedules :)

    I love your post because it is right in line with what I have been writing about recently – that our dark nights of the soul are teaching times for us, they makes us better when we choose to embrace our Warrior Woman and struggle on, rather than collapse and give up.

    Thank you :)

  4. Avatar September 1, 2012 / 12:13 pm

    Remembering how much I enjoyed the early seasons of Lost. This is a lovely episode to pick up.

    In my mid-to-late teens I had so many really painful and difficult struggles, especially with mental health stuff. Now, even though it sucked and was hard, I wouldn't change it because that's one of the main ways that I got into self-exploration and it has lead to so many blessings.

  5. Avatar
    September 1, 2012 / 8:45 am

    I love your homemade ornaments! I especially liked the ones that were see through and that you put memories from the year in. What an awesome idea! I need to think ahead and do some of these ideas next year. Thanks for sharing with us at Monday Madness.
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  6. Avatar September 1, 2012 / 5:24 pm

    I haven't watched this program, but one day I will catch up! That was a great dialogue you captured from the episode, and you have shared some timeless wisdom with us – yes, struggle can make us stronger! Lovely post, Dominee x

  7. Avatar September 2, 2012 / 12:17 am

    I loved Lost! And love this connection you made……..when I was in the middle of my suffering, I felt like nothing was ever going to change or get better……I wanted it to, but it didn't feel like it would…..I too would never take back all the suffering because it has shown me the way to freedom…….if I didn't suffer, I wouldn't be this free………thx Dominee!

  8. Avatar September 2, 2012 / 7:43 pm

    The metaphor is so perfect. I hadn't thought about moths being stronger (though I've been fighting pantry moths for months now so I can definitely say they're really persistent!), but that's something to think about, too. Maybe we don't all have to be the butterfly. :)

  9. Avatar September 3, 2012 / 7:47 pm

    Interesting post, Dominee – I never *quite* managed to get into Lost: I watched the first 8 episodes of s1 (including the one you're mentioning here), and although I didn't dislike them, they didn't *quite* draw me in enough to keep watching the series. Now I'm wondering if I should go back and try them again!

    WRT the story about the butterfly/moth and the coccoon – I remember hearing it somewhere, but in a different form to this. I too never thought about the difference between butterflies and moths. You've definitely given me some thinking material with this post!



  10. Avatar September 3, 2012 / 11:10 pm

    Dominee, first of all, my fiance is going to LOVE you because I've been resisting watching Lost for like a year now despite him trying to persuade me and after reading your post I am dying to watch it! Secondly, I absolutely love your point and reading that today is giving me patience. I have so many things that I want RIGHT NOW and today you made me realize that the present moment could just be the necessary prep work for what I'm yearning for. Love love love your work and your way of being, as always. <3

  11. Avatar
    Jo Macdonald
    September 4, 2012 / 1:26 pm

    LOVE this Dominee, I miss Lost! this is a really beautiful story about the moth, so often we want to be butterflies and in our race for perceived perfection we forget what true beauty is. Thanks for sharing this ♥

  12. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:20 pm

    I only watched it because it was on netflix one day, I tend to try to resist the hype about things on principle, but it sucked me in and made me a fan!

    I loved reading your blog and your Warrior Woman shield necklaces are lovely!

  13. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:22 pm

    I had similar experiences in my teens as well and I remember wishing so many times that I could just wave a magic wand but I am so happy that I had to struggle, because like you said, it lead so self-exploration and that's such a wonderful thing!

  14. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:22 pm

    Thank you Christiane, I definitely recommend it!

  15. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:24 pm

    Love your words of wisdom! So very, very, true! It does lead to freedom and I think it allows us to be much more grateful!

  16. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:25 pm

    Tehehe, yes they are. I've had many a moth creep into my house after leaving my windows open after dark. Strangely no butterflies, maybe they just know better!

  17. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:27 pm

    Lost is really hit or miss. I thought it was very stupid for the first few seasons it was on tv and refused to watch it because I didn't want to give in to the "hype" however a few years ago netflix had other plans and it sucked me in!

  18. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:28 pm

    Hahaha! Go for it! I resisted it for the first three or four years it was on tv but Netflix made a convert out of me. It's a great show! You always make me smile, thank you!

  19. Avatar
    September 6, 2012 / 1:29 pm

    I'm so glad and you are very welcome! It's one tv show (along with the Golden Girls, hahaha) that I can watch over and over again and not get tired of it!

  20. Avatar
    September 25, 2012 / 6:19 pm

    Love it!  Love the lesson is from Lost, and love the story – that's so gorgeous!  Great post Dominee.  xx

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