Late Kadalla Gray, a former colleague in Liberia, told me in a context that was relevant:
Hold tight the rose with thorns.
Here is a poem found on the internet related thematically but which means another thing to me:
Holding a Rose
When you find someone to care about,
you hope the good times will never end.
After a while
you come to realize
that constant happiness isn’t possible.
There are just too many things
that could go wrong
and this is something you know
and you end up worrying too much.
When you try to hold on too hard
it only repels.
People want their freedom.
It’s like holding a rose:
With an open palm
there is no pain on either side.
But close your hand
and the thorn pierces your palm,
making you let go of the thing
you tried so hard to hold on to.