Do you ever have days or weeks where you just don’t think you have the strength to push on? Well, this past week has been like that for us… what you’d call “a rough one”.
I mean in the grand scheme of things how many days can you go without having a rough one and needing strength to go on? In our house it seems that just when we think the going is good, something jumps out in front of us and BAM! Our feet get swept out from underneath us. Or in this case the front end of the car did not withstand the force of the deer crossing the road in front of it.
As I sat and processed this new development, predicament, tragedy, devastation, travesty, mishap, misfortune, wreck, calamity, catastrophe, bad fortune, unluckiness, shock, struggle, and wreck (if you just took a stab in the dark and guessed I went to thesaraus.com and looked up synonyms for tragedy, you guessed correctly); a question popped into my mind – if we didn’t have days where we get knocked down to our knees, can we appreciate the days where we don’t and have the strength to get back up again?
Just like can we really understand what someone else is going through if we haven’t been through the same thing? And then even if we do experience the same thing, can we truly understand what someone else is feeling when we all have different perceptions, different experiences, different interpretations? How many times have you found yourself nodding your head in agreement while someone describes an event, or story to you because you would swear up and down that you went through exactly the same thing? But have you?
Big deal… you hit a deer.
And I will bet someone reading this is going to say, “Big deal. You hit a deer.” and by golly! They ain’t wrong. In the great big grand scheme of things, wrecking the hood of a brand new vehicle, with less than 7,000 miles on it, and turning it into a work of Picasso is not that big of a deal. As long as the driver is okay and walked away, the worst case scenario, is having to pay the deductible and until it can be fixed, the car is out of commission.
Until you start adding in that this is a work vehicle, which means what was a simple job of going to the job site and working now becomes a barrage of rapid fire questions: what vehicle can I drive that I can lock to protect all my tools and materials I need to complete this job? And do I have the money to pay the deductible? And how do I pay the other bills coming due if I have to put money towards the deductible? And if my work vehicle is out of commission am I going to be able to go work? And if I don’t work how will I be able to pay the deductible, or buy groceries? Which apparently are important as well, so I’ve been told.
My point, in case you haven’t seen it yet, is that we cannot imagine how tragic something is for another person because we aren’t aware of the extenuating circumstances surrounding their tragedy. Additionally, if someone has a good, supportive network their tragedies may not seem as tragic as they would to someone who is alone. And don’t even get me started about childhood trauma and brain development and how that affects how we as adults handle traumatic events and stress. Seriously … don’t. Because that will be a post the length of Minnesota. I have a lot to say about that subject.
So getting back to my original question which was (in case you forgot because I’ve gone off point too many times): How do we handle those days where we get knocked down? What is it about human beings that they can keep getting punched and fall down repeatedly because they keep standing up? And what makes it so some people can get back up so much more quickly than others?
Grace is Moral Strength
One of the many definitions of grace is: moral strength. Breaking that down, moral can be defined as: of, relating to, or acting on the mind, feelings, will, or character. Diving deeper we can say, grace is strength of, relating to, or acting on the mind, feelings, will, or character. Which can then be translated into: one with strong will and character, or full of grace. Oh ye of little faith that didn’t think I’d be able to connect all the dots there. Yes, I know some of you were starting to wonder. I feel the doubt.
I could also go on to quote some very familiar sayings like “there but for the grace of God go I”, or “by the grace of God”, or “fall from grace”… yes I realize I did actually share the quotes, hush! I included them for the whippersnappers who are years younger than me and may not know what quotes I am referring to. I’m being considerate believe it or not.
Anywho, I digress. Again. What was I talking about? Oh yeah! Grace. I think I’m going to change the definition to: Grace – one’s ability to repeatedly recover from getting knocked down.
What exactly does “you’re so strong” mean?
Now we all know that one of my least favorite things, despite it being a good intention, is being told by someone that I am strong. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, when you are in the midst of something rough – battling cancer, losing a loved one, dealing with a debilitating disease – and someone says that, I know for me at least, I questioned just exactly what that meant.
I realize this may sound strange, but when I change the word from strength to grace, suddenly it makes more sense to me. “You are so strong” suddenly becomes “You are full of grace” and I realize that yes, I am full of strong will and character and I know that whatever comes my way I will be able to overcome and conquer it. If I learned anything from having to endure a year and a half of ongoing surgeries, chemo, and mental fatigue, it is that I can do it… whatever it is I want to do.
So whether it’s fighting for my health, or fighting for my sanity (oh stop, I hear you smirking that one is going to be a long fight!), or fighting the rough battles of just everyday life, with grace, dignity, and perseverance I will keep standing back up when I get knocked down.
Oh, did I mention stubbornness? No? Well you can exhale. I will leave that for another time.
Until next time, capture life kreatively!
P.S. What has been your roughest day/week? Have you been able to find the grace you need to overcome it? If you have, or if you haven’t, leave me a comment below. I will reach out – you are not alone!
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