Many times in life, adults will look in the mirror, throw their hands up and whisper – or scream – “that’s it, I can’t take anymore. I give up.” This is usually in response to a situation life has thrown for one reason or another.
You just want to fall on the ground, assume the fetal position and maybe even suck your thumb. At least that’s what some people do. I prefer dive head first into a big piece of chocolate cake.
This has happened to just about every person I know, man and woman. While we usually resist the urge to give up, the cloud of guilt that hovers for even considering quitting still lingers long after the once impossible task is conquered.
Whether you’re single, married, divorced or have a significant other, you have probably faced trials in the relationship. Sometimes the problems are trivial, like having an argument over leaving the toilet seat up. Others, like the death of a loved one, seem to put even the strongest relationship in crisis.
It’s those major life-changing events that, while painful and seemingly impossible to live through, create strength you never knew you had. Something else happens, too. We develop more empathy.
If you have been on the receiving end of a tragic event, the first thing you may search for is likeness. Someone to relate to, someone who says those three little words that makes the pain a little more bearable… “I’ve been there.” And often just seeing one person make it through a crisis creates a deep sense of appreciation for what you have. It also forces us to stop arguing about the little things, like a toilet seat.
This year is nearly half over. What? I have observed some of the most amazing testimonies of strength this year. I have watched a couple lose a child and carry on. They may carry on with tears, but those tears serve as emotional cleansing that allows a broken heart to mend. I have watched a woman rise from the ashes of a bitter divorce to find there is life after betrayal, and forgiveness opens the gateway to find new love.
I have witnessed a friend lose her mother and reluctantly become part of the sandwich generation as she worries about how she can care for her aging father while not neglecting her own family.
And through the years, I have watched as my little family weathers the storms of life only to come out standing proud and tall – OK, maybe not “tall,” but with good posture – next to a rainbow.
Sometimes we don’t know our own strength. Sometimes we can’t imagine life getting any harder. But it can, and it will. The most important thing to remember is out of the most unbearable situation appears a fierce will. It’s that will that can help you find the courage to take another step and the compassion to one day help a friend find theirs.
Comments? You can email Becky Andrews at [email protected] Andrews and Angel Kane are the brains behind Telling Tales, a weekly column in The Democrat.