Inner Strength

Finding our inner strength amidst the adversity that we face daily in our walk through life can be our biggest challenge.  We search for answers, knowing they are within ourselves, yet we cannot seem to find them.  We know our weaknesses, and try desperately not to be overcome by them and rely on that inner strength to pull us from the gutter in which we fell into when we did fail.

It is during the most difficult times in our lives that we are enlightened as to what have been our strengths, and in the process discover how to overcome our weaknesses. We call forth to others around us for encouragement, guidance and a semblance of understanding. We in this same juncture ascertain the refining aberration between validated friendship, loyalty and acquaintance.

The strife of losing a cherished ability, the oppression of a loved one’s decline, the distance that will encompass the tasks called forth of my offspring, entangled with the remembrance of past wounds and casualty of war engulfed my emotions. If only for a miniscule ticking of life’s clock, it encased what was felt as multiple passing’s, through the calendar. But how shall one attempt to even comprehend, unless willing to open that friendship to include understanding and compassion, the mere necessity of coexistence in one another’s worlds?

Our trials that definitively alter the emerging may overwhelmingly trounce the simulation of normalcy, leading to what would appear to be chaotic in the eyes of the misinterpreted, yet to the understanding soul it is but a mere milestone, that with an outreached hand is defeated, overcome or made bearable.

I contemplated as I extended a hand during the troubles that encompassed my past week and found that with hand outstretched, ill-conceived perceptions of the hands that would in return extend themselves to guide me through the arduous temporary scenario were revealed, and enlightened my reality as to how I shall in the future define friendship vs. acquaintance.

Could it be that with compassion one feels vulnerable to emotions? Or the unwillingness to experience understanding from outside of one’s own existence of normalcy a realm does not exist? Perhaps this is so. What I have enlightened myself with is the discovering of compassion as it is truly defined, does not portray weakness, but genuine strength. Compassion literally means to feel with, to suffer with. Everyone is capable of compassion, and yet everyone tends to avoid it because it’s uncomfortable. And the avoidance produces emotional numbing — resistance to experiencing our pain for the world and other beings.

I do not believe that struggle’s of others teach and refine us nor do ours. If suffering alone taught, then all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. It is how those truly close to us reach out during this adversity that assists in defining our reactions. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain consistent with sustenance.

I found hard to fathom my misconception as to the security and warmth I felt, when the hand was withdrawn, as if I had asked for more than life itself. My soul sank. The rationalization by the withdrawn was a fallacy for which wounded deeply a spirit, once quenched and now lie parched.

Then I postured upon my locale of self-complacency and my vision was freed to see a lesson learned also meant a growth within. Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person and in those transparent moments we know other people feel our joys and sorrows, and they share about our concerns as if they were their own. From others I experienced a deeper sense of awareness.

I have learned these two lessons: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human pain or sorrow, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human being. For without the existence of human traits of compassion and caring, we cannot contemplate they are human. For it is in humanity that we find purpose and friendship and emotion.

Through this learning process I have grown stronger. I have restrained within my grasp a truer understanding of what expectations within myself I can attain. My strength renewed I stand taller able to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. Renewing myself to those that have strolled along with me, as confidants and willingly sequestered that which did not exist.

With new elation I face all new obstacles as a warrior in battle. I hold my weapon of power and will high above me. I rise and will continue to rise as I have chosen my armies of friends wisely, casting aside the lesser. With a new sense of purpose I discover the “purpose” of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all. In that you will find true happiness.

Purpose with happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life. Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. It is not length of life, but depth of life. Purpose is the ability of acceptance. Our purpose is to embrace the unknown with desire for understanding.

EMBRACING IMPERFECTION…life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’ve learned over the years if we try to accept each other’s faults & choose to celebrate each other’s differences – we have embraced the most important keys to creating lasting friendships. Life is too short to not feel and care about people for who they are not what we think they should be. Caring friendships do not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction. Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. Cherish every acquaintance, and treasure those who truly become friends.

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.

Theodore Roosevelt put it well when he said, “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor … defeat. So when you feel in the gray, move on to something motivating and not what leaves you waiting.”


Life is too short to wake up with regrets. I heard it said once that We should “love the people who treat you right. Love the ones who don’t just because you can. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. If it holds you back due to lack of understanding, let it pass by the wayside”.

A vital part of friendship and understanding one another is remembering You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. So choose your way, choose your action, or let the goodness of life always be a hope for the future and not an existence in the present.  For the future may change or cease to exist as you see it.

© COPYRIGHT PROTECTED United Press International, any use or photocopying of this must be done only with the written consent of the author

©Copyright protected : JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

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