Hope. Pain. Strength

hope“I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.” John Green

Most of us don’t realize how strong we are. It seems as if we start off as being invincible. Or at least feeling as if we are. And life starts to happen, and we fail, time and time again, and suddenly we grow afraid of failure, oftentimes afraid of success just as much.

The trick is not to hide your pain behind a smile.

But others do seem to ask this of us, right? That we pretend that everything is okay, that we act as if there’s nothing to be afraid of in this world. It’s all fun and games.

And some do this. And they pretend they’re brave, but they don’t understand bravery. They pretend that strength is something you carve on your face. That the absence of tears is synonymous with the absence of suffering.

Is it so?

A friend of mine told me a few days ago that I’m brave, even though I don’t appear to be so. And I told her that I’m afraid of dogs, afraid of any insect that is bigger than an ant, afraid of heights, and on and on.

She smiled and said, “But so many of us feel insignificant. So many of us are afraid of the future. So many of us dream of the life we want, but never actually try to create it. So many of us feel that we’re only half of something, that we’re incomplete without someone by our side. And we’re so hungry for something that we don’t even know what it is.”

It’s been eleven years since I first put pen to paper. Since I started writing my first story, which, as any self-respecting procrastinator, I failed to finish. It was the first of many that I failed to finish, or even start, depending on the case.

It might not seem as much, but it’s been a really long road. I honestly can’t remember why I first started writing. Maybe because I thought it would be easy and fun. It’s neither, actually. Okay, maybe sometimes it is, and that’s when you feel like a god among men.

But the rest of the road? Well… there were times when I was afraid, when I’d feel as if I’d never become the writer I had always dreamed of being. There were times when all I wanted was to give up. I felt as if, no matter how hard I tried, the entire universe was conspiring to defeat me.

I’ve spent most of these years on my knees, crawling… barely keeping it all together.

But I learned one valuable lesson. That you must never allow the universe to defeat you. That you must always fight back. That you must never lose hope. That you must always try to turn pain into strength.

And that, ultimately, strength is something you carry within you, something that no one else actually gets to see. And, yes, at times being strong means crawling when others would just give up. Being strong means to keep going even when all you want is to stop.

That’s what courage is all about, that’s what courage has always been all about. Perseverance. The ability to feel like a failure, to be so afraid, and yet to do it anyways, because… just because.

Don’t let fear overwhelm you. Don’t let pain take away your hope. Don’t let your dreams drown in tears.

Why do all this?

Because when the end will come you will be proud to say that you have not survived everything. You did much, much better. You have vanquished everything. Life tried to destroy you, but failed. Life tried to defeat you, but you fought back. Each and every time.

***

If you want me to keep on writing, if you like what I write, if you believe in this dream of mine, you can contribute any amount you see fit hereand help me buy a new computer, which I badly need in order to keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past eleven years.

Every contribution matters, even if it’s just a dollar. Especially if it’s just a dollar.

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24 comments on “Hope. Pain. Strength

  1. Interesting piece. I don’t really see how hope is mankind’s greatest weakness however according to the definition.

    • Because we sometimes do nothing but hope. We never act upon that hope, just wait for something good to happen.

      • I would say however, that to have hope is better to have no hope at all, because one that has no hope at all has already given up.

        • I feel the difference is that to hope is passive. We sit in hope, wait hopefully etc. instead of seizing opportunities and taking what opportunities arise for us to progress. Hope in a hopeless situation is a powerful and important thing (mankinds greatest strength), but an abundance of hope when we have the power to move forward with actions, is a hindrance (mankinds greatest weakness).

          Or, at least, that is how I understand it.

          • I would say that those that just hope without actions, are trying to shift the responsibility of altering their circumstances on external factors. I wouldn’t say that it is hope per se that was mankind’s greatest weakness, but that it was mankind’s inability or unwillingness to take responsibility for their circumstances as their greatest weakness then.

      • Very interesting, we hope and then we wait for something to happen… One must act upon that hope.

  2. “Maybe because I thought it would be easy and fun. It’s neither, actually. Okay, maybe sometimes it is, and that’s when you feel like a god among men.”
    I cannot stress enough how strongly I can relate to that.

  3. ninjaitis says:

    I love that quote. Such a good thing to remember. Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed, but I think it’s good to remember that everyone feels that way and that not everyone has it all together. We are not the only ones struggling with something, but we have conquered so much to come to the point we are at now. It’s nice to take a break and let yourself revel in that fact.

  4. rumadak says:

    Like the way your friend proved you are brave! We all need to be brave in the truest sense, but unfortunately most of us don’t even realise it!

  5. You hit the nail on the head for me! This is so true, especially for artists! Thanks for the reminder of keeping hope and fighting back!

  6. This post describes my life in a nutshell. Life can be very difficult and we have to try to push forward. I am learning this year that if I don’t take risks I will never make my dreams come true. I challenged myself this year to buy a guitar and learn how to play it. I felt so intimidated because I kept telling myself that it will be hard and I won’t ever learn how to play it. But I decided that I don’t want to live my life with regrets and I want make my dream come true. I want to learn how to play, learn how to write songs and eventually post music covers on YouTube.

    Thank you for this post :)

  7. So true. There is always that yin/yang thing going on in life and when you realize that on the other side of pain and misfortune is something that is unknown, and perhaps beautiful in equal measure to the pain you feel, it helps you keep moving forward in life. Hang in there for the good stuff to come.

  8. dabaudoin says:

    Lovely. And so very necessary at this time.

  9. kristinac91 says:

    I love this. every word

  10. samtoshablog says:

    Hope means to wait for something that has not happened yet =)

  11. If only everyone think the same way,i am strong only when am willing to be…..you just changed some of my view about life.

  12. uberblonde says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. Great writing :)

  13. Hope means to “work” for something that hasn’t happened yet. And sometimes that work is deciding to stand, stay put, and not be moved till something greater happens.

  14. morrisonvein says:

    Friends will help you see these strengths, if you reach out to them.

  15. krakatoic says:

    did I mention it? You make my life a little bit easy!
    Thank you! :)

  16. Liz Gray says:

    I just LOVE you! Especially the self-respecting procrastinator line! And the fact that yes, we are CALLED to VANQUISH that which threatens to take us down, which is to say much of it! Keep writing…you’re really good at it. Perfect quote to start this blog too!

  17. K_writes says:

    when all else fails, somehow there’s this little voice urging you to go on and when you listen to it.. that is hope. It’s the last thing to go as they say..following that voice and not knowing what will happen or where it leads you.. that is what you call faith.. Strength is how good you are in keeping both faith and hope alive, no matter how difficult life can be.. :) kudos to your writing!

  18. salinadias says:

    “..first of many that I failed to finish..”
    “The ability to feel like a failure, to be so afraid, and yet to do it anyways, because… just because.”
    You write because you are made to write!! Thank you for posting this.. I felt like I read a part of me.

  19. Excellent post! It came at a perfect time for me. I always hope for the best, but am not want one to sit around waiting for it to happen. I pray to God that I’m doing the right thing; unfortunately, I don’t consult Him as often as I should.
    Thank you for a great post.

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