“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Face it. It is easy to give up.
It takes no real talent or effort to collapse in despair. It’s a simple proposition to pretend that you cannot call forth your inner reserves or stand up and fight for your life. That requires nothing of you.
Whether you believe it or not, strength (the ability to persevere in the face of difficulties) is actually a quality we are all born with. Just making it through our own birth proves it. Birth is one of the most stressful experiences we go through, and yet we survive. Our heads may be a tad pointy and our eyesight a tad blurry, but we arrive.
So. That must mean something. We must have a certain amount of strength, a certain amount of wild oomph that allows us to join the river of life. We must have a certain amount of grace, fortune, and sheer will to make that incredible journey.
Courage is, therefore, our birthright.
Yes. It’s true that once we are here, we face a myriad of obstacles and difficulties that sometimes stymie our happiness. Why did that happen? What the hell went wrong? How on earth did I end up in this mess? We seem to think that troubles only happen to other people.
Not us. Not today.
All of this is as understandable as it is short-sighted.
Life is about confronting problems. It just is. The sooner we realize that and get cool with the fact that we will be dealing with backed up plumbing, and cars breaking down, and babies with dirty diapers, and casseroles that we inadvertently torched, the better we will actually feel about the vicissitudes of our lives. What makes a real difference in all of this is our attitude, and our willingness to call forth the strength we possess, in order do battle with our lesser selves. (That whiny ‘why me’ part of us. The monkey mind that thinks that we should spend our days mapping pointless back roads in search of our ego-maniacal twin.)
Humanity would never have survived for hundreds of thousands of years if we are, in fact, a bunch of lily-livered weaklings. Fear would have wiped us out a long time ago while we sat huddled around a campfire inside a damp cave. However, you and I both know, that didn’t happen.
Instead, we did what we needed to do to survive.
We brought forth grit and we took one-step forward, one day at a time. We flexed our interior muscles and strengthened them. We learned to forge our spirits, our bodies and our minds. We believed in our ability to not only survive, but to thrive. We polished our inner lives even when facing illness, devastation, or death.
Mind you, I am not saying go it alone. I am not saying don’t ask for help. I am not saying don’t reach for someone’s hand when facing a crisis. We all need help from time to time. Asking for help when you need it is, in fact, a sign of real strength.
Simply believe You are strong enough to face whatever happens.
Over the long course of history, we shaped ourselves and built steely, flexible backbones. As a result, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish or change.
There’s something comforting and soft about our inherent strength. It stretches us and pushes us, every single day.
It wakes up the best in us.
It lets us go out into the world as an example rather than a cautionary tale.
© 2013 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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