Some people are stronger than others – this is obvious. But I have to wonder what it is that creates this internal, emotional fortitude in one but not the other.
Maybe one’s character can’t develop unless put to the challenge. I’d say that were true; noting all those that have risen from adversity to become awe-inspiring individuals. Yet, for every one of those, there are ten or more coming from the same adversity that didn’t develop in the same way. Two people, cornered with the same problem; one braces and stands tall; the other squirrels around, lashes out and does every fear based absurd action possible.
Perhaps conditions, good or bad, have little to do with one’s internal strength. Instead, there’s something beyond the visible that holds the answer.
I’m more inclined to believe the latter, as I’ve watched two seemingly similar people, with similar upbringing and lifestyles, respond in contrast to the same issue. One is firm, while the other crumbles. I suppose the best of the lot would be those already in tune with their inner strength, that went on to endure an uneasy road; the adversity only adding to their emotional muscle.
My father, the wonderful yet troubled man that he was, struggled unmercifully to be strong. His knee jerk reaction to life was to feel despair. And yet, I see so many that have gone through far worse than the disappointing life my father was given. Nazi camp survivors, rape victims, those who’ve had everything brutally ripped from their lives; within those groups, are a few that grew in strength even at the hand of such atrocity.
As hard as my life has been at times, I’ve never felt I could complain, as others have endured far worse. The human spirit, I feel, is what gives us our strength. We all have it. Some tap into it, others fail to know they even have this divine well-house of personal strength and operate solely using their external, physical and mental senses and abilities. There’s a line from a song that describes the power of the inner spirit well: “It’s my turn, this soul won’t burn, so throw me into the fire.” The part of us that doesn’t burn and never changes; the part of us that sits above the fear, the worry, the insecurity – it is there – where our strength can be found. But to go there, one has to set aside all the emotions that make up so much of who we are. I tap into that place often. I’m having to tap into it right now. At times I wonder if it will get tapped out. But so far, it seems to be just as strong as it’s always been.
Written to: These Days by Foo Fighters