Becoming Stronger

Life is ironic. It’s full of twists and turns we often don’t see coming. People in our lives come and go. Some are there for a short season, while others weather multiple seasons and years. As we age, our circle of peers changes with us. Sometimes we grow apart, and others grow closer. No matter what scenarios occur, we become stronger as individuals, as friends, and in other aspects of our lives.

Over the last few years, I have watched this world change dramatically. I’m not the only one. We all have. Society has forced itself to deal with a virus that was lethal for some and uncomfortable for others. Divisions are still running rampant from differences of opinions as to the vaccine. Race relations are among the hot topics of the century. Politically correct language becomes pushed upon every individual. No matter what people say, our society has become more assertive in its views, awareness, and emotional drains. People are tired of dealing with COVID. They are sick and tired of wearing masks. If it hasn’t been COVID, it’s been the gas shortage. Everyone is tired of dealing with issue after issue.

The upside is that we have learned how to exist with stricter standards, improved knowledge, and become more appreciative of resuming our everyday activities.
Businesses had to learn to accommodate customers and clientele to the new standards and adhere to the government’s rules and regulations. Sometimes it felt as if we were all back in school, afraid of what the principal would do if we disobeyed their orders. It felt that we were having our rights and privileges stripped from us because we couldn’t do the things we wanted to do. Some of you may disagree with that assessment, but I know that we felt confined and frustrated that we couldn’t move forward in my group of friends and family. The experience made my patience stronger, but I wasn’t happy about the lessons.

Wearing a mask was not comfortable. I have asthma, and the mask made it twice as hard to breathe. I understand and respect why it was necessary, but I will be so grateful for the day they are no longer required. The vaccines help but are not a guarantee against the virus. Nothing is sure fire in this world except for the fact that we will all die at some point in our lives. Immortality is something that has yet to be discovered, or if it has, those who have achieved that goal have never disclosed that information. We all are more vital because it takes strength from within to get through days that have been long and frustrating. We’ve had to learn to lean on our friends when we couldn’t get out and talk to each other.
Emotional strength is something that we can’t teach. We gain experience from life’s trials and tribulations. How we handle the decisions becomes the cornerstone to shape our minds. If we manage a situation poorly, we may beat ourselves up, knowing that we could have diverted things better.

We as a society are stronger because of how we have adjusted to life. No longer are we unaware of the pitfalls of chemical attacks, nor are we under the rose-colored glasses of being unhackable. Everything in this world has the potential to make us stronger or weaker. The choice is ours as to how we choose to live our lives. Recently I finished writing a series of short stories. I may include it in a blog one day, and others I might create a book into, but I’ve gotten stronger with my confidence. I’m no longer afraid to take chances or get negative feedback. I don’t feel the need to boast about what I do or don’t do because I’m doing things for myself. I could care less if people disagree because I’m doing things that make me a more robust and better version of myself for the first time in years.

I hope we have all learned to empower each other even when we don’t like or disagree with someone. Their truth is not your truth. Some folks are so religious they think we are all damned. We might be, but that isn’t their call. Let them live their lives with their beliefs. I don’t know what others believe, but I know that my belief in God is strong. My heart and head don’t always communicate well. I’m not invincible. Like all of you, I have days where I cry my heart out and other days that I feel I can take on the world. The nice thing about each of us getting stronger is that we can help each other recognize various viewpoints and figure out healthier and less intrusive ways. The challenging aspects are finding ways to communicate with each other without criticizing opposing views, accepting people for who they are and not who we want them to be, and letting go of hostility built up over the years.

It’s easy to call people names because they disagree with you, but it takes strength of character to recognize why they feel the way they do and work towards better goals. If someone hurts you, chances are those around you will be hurt as well because they care. No one likes to see those they love fall prey to emotional or physical pain, but everyone understands that pain gives us strength in the long run. Pain isn’t always in our minds, but it’s how we combat pain that provides us with power mentally. So today, if you are dealing with grief, pain, or emotions that are topsy turvy, remember that everything we fight in life gives us strength. It may be easier said than done sometimes, but how we face the world determines what we want. Be weak when you need to, but learn to stand up, pull yourself together and keep going. People will always try to knock you down but get back up. No matter what anyone says, you are a person of worth and stronger than you know. Have a great day, everyone.

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