just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

Strength in the Face of Adversity

Recently someone dear to me commented on my ability to be strong in the face of adversity. I wrote this in response for that person, and several others, who are facing issues right now:

Life reminds me of being in the ocean, the rhythm of the waves a constant. Sometimes the waves hit hard and fast, and I am overpowered by their force. Then, before I can fully regain my balance,  another one hits. Other times the waves are gentler, or I am able to anticipate their arrival by either jumping up, or diving into them. Regardless, they keep coming.

I’ve realized that the only truth in this life is that the waves will keep coming. And, much like a stone or shell worn by the water, we are shaped by the experiences that come our way.

So many people I know seem to be being hit by a succession of waves, wondering why and if they have the strength to handle that which is before them.

Getting hit by a wave, crying, being angry or screaming into the night, when you think no one is listening, is not failure but part of the process. To acknowledge the feeling is to own it, but be careful not to drown in it. After it hits, wipe the water from your face, catch your breath and stand back up. If you need help, reach out to those around you.

Each time we stand back up, we become stronger and are better equipped to face the next challenge or wave headed our way.

Don’t look at the whole ocean; it will only serve to overwhelm you. Instead, focus on the next wave on the horizon.

Eventually you will get through this rough period and enjoy a small period of relative calm before the next set of big waves hit—because they will hit. Maybe you extend a hand to someone else, or maybe you retreat into yourself. Either way, know that you have come out the other side stronger and wiser.

While it was a lovely thing to say, I’m no stronger than the next person. I just keep getting up after each wave.


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