Most of us endure because we have to, not because we want to. As humans, we are incredibly resilient beings. We can gut it out when we are under duress and make it through to an easier stage, mostly because there is simply no other choice.
I’m working on not complaining as much these days. Life is hard for everyone. My pain is not different from your pain. It all hurts. When it sucks, it really sucks, but the good news is that we are all in it together.
To endure is to weather hardship in a dignified manner. Moaning and bitching about elements out of our direct control is a waste of energy and it reduces our ability to feel strong and capable. When I think about the people I most admire in the world, those who make it through turbulent periods with grace and poise are among my greatest heroes.
It’s just damn hard to do it myself. But I’m getting there, inch by inch. I can endure the worst circumstances and so can you. So much of what ails us is in our own minds. If we believe we can survive and eventually thrive, we will. If we sink into self pity and compare our suffering to someone else’s, we are moving further from dignity and can benefit from a course correction.
One of the biggest cliches is “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But it’s so very true. We don’t grow in the easy seasons. Those are for resting and gearing up for the inevitable freight train that’s on its way to disrupt our orderly existence.
The hard shit reveals who we are, for better or for worse. It proves to us our own strength and highlights our weaknesses, not so we feel ashamed but so we become conscious of them and can begin to work on these troublesome areas.
I am determined to stop focusing on petty garbage that doesn’t add any value to my life. I’m trying to move in the direction of peace and joy by veering away from stress and drama. I proved to myself this summer that I can do unimaginably hard and scary things. And I can do more than just make it through them, but I can in fact endure with a certain element of dignity.
I used to waste so much time seeking approval from others for my choices, my words, my imagined legacy. It feels fantastic to pull that back from society in general and sit on it myself, like a hen keeping her vulnerable baby chicks warm when the air turns cold.
Now is the time to endure with as much grace as we can muster. If the sun is shining and the birds are singing for you, enjoy this day. Soak up the warmth for one day soon it will rain or snow and you will need to summon resources of strength from deep inside of you to make it through.
And if you are enduring something awful or scary now, remember that this too shall pass. You always have a choice. You can complain about how unfair all of it is, or you can endure with a smile nailed on your face. Think ahead to when the crisis is finished. How will you want to remember this time? How did you react when that was the only part of the situation that you could control?