Reaching a New Understanding of Strength

We have all faced moments in our lives when the pressure mounts beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves thinking that we do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes we have just gotten through a major obstacle or illness only to find another one waiting for us the moment we finally catch our breath. Sometimes we endure one loss after another, wondering when we will get a break from life’s travails. It does not seem fair or right that life should demand more of us when we feel we have given all we can, but this is the way life works.

When we look back on our lives, we can see that we have survived many trials and surmounted many obstacles, often to our amazement. In each of those instances, we had to break through our ideas about how much we could handle and go deeper into our hidden reserves. Think of it like a frozen lake: it appears impenetrable, but when we break through it, we find a deep reservoir. When we fail through the thought that we don’t have more to give or fall back on, we can find a well of energy and inspiration trapped beneath. Sometimes we break through by cutting a hole in our resistance with willpower, and sometimes we melt the ice with compassion for our predicament and ourselves. Either way, each time we break through, we reach a new understanding of the strength we store within ourselves.

When we find ourselves up against that barrier of thinking we cannot handle our situation, we may find that the kindest choice is to love ourselves and our resistance. We can accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched and offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion. If we can extend the unconditional warmth of a mother’s love to ourselves, the ice will begin to melt before we know it.

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