The great German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once wrote “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
Living is a blessing, but living is also not easy; especially during times when we are confronted with great challenges such as the loss of a job, loss of a relationship; loss of a loved one. During times of great difficulties, it can feel overwhelming even to breathe as we are struggling to keep our head afloat amid the pounding waves of pain.
It can be tiring to put in the effort day in and day out―trying to swim against life’s currents. It might seems futile to stay in the fight when the casualties we continue to see have been mostly on our ends. It is during these times of great darkness that a pervasive thought creeped in our minds that it is time to give up, to accept the the inevitability of defeat, and surrender to life’s great challenges.
Do not. Do not give in. Do not give up. Like our existence in this universe, the pain and suffering we feel have a meaning and purpose. It is there to grow us and to make us stronger. As humans we are incredible, powerful beings; we cannot even began to fathom the limitless of our true capacity until we are tested.
Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear. ― Marcus Aurelius
Life is short and fleeting, but life is also miraculous. Nothing that was birthed to life is by coincidence. Everything that is placed on this planet and the greater Universe is meant to blossom and multiply in existence. Thus, during our darkest of days when we feel we are deep in mud and dirt know that we have not been buried, but instead we have been planted. So, have faith in the human evolution and your eternal growth. Bloom.
Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
― Marcus Aurelius
In closing, I would like to leave a memorable excerpt from President Richard Nixon’s historic farewell speech as he reflected on his and other’s great losses:
We think sometimes when things happen that don’t go the right way…We think that when someone dear to us dies, we think that when we lose an election, we think that when we suffer a defeat that all is ended…Not true.
It is only a beginning, always. The young must know it; the old must know it. It must always sustain us, because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain…
Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.
And whenever anyone needs a reminder of the fragility and preciousness of life I invite you to watch “Life is Short” speech by Coach Pain.