“Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.” The pendulum of life swings both ways. Sometimes everything is coming up roses while other times you seriously think the damn thing has you stuck in some sort of sick Groundhog Day-type of situation. The problem is you never know when it’s gonna swing the other way and you have no way to know for how long it will remain headed in that direction. While we all enjoy the ride when things are going our way, it is when the opposite occurs that our true character is exposed. Do we handle the challenges with grace or do we fall down on the floor and throw a temper tantrum?
The other day I saw a video a friend posted on Facebook of the newest addition to his back yard pond – a turtle. The turtle was determined to escape from the rock-enclosed surroundings by slowly climbing up the sides. Several times you see it roll back down to the bottom only to try to make its way back out again. There is no telling how many attempts this poor creature made only to have its efforts foiled again and again. As I was watching the video, I started my own narration based on what I figured the poor little thing was thinking. Some of the time I figured it sounded like Yosemite Sam as it bounced back down the sides looking like the large plastic disc in the “Plinko” game from The Price Is Right. Other times he just acted like he wasn’t surprised and was just enjoying the spinning scenery during the tumble back down. I guess we all tend to respond to situations like our friend the turtle. Sometimes we’re mad as hell and other times we just go with the flow.
Just knowing that the pendulum is swinging is what keeps us sane. After all, it can’t be bad ALL the time…right?!?! Maybe it’s not that something is necessarily a negative, but rather that we’ve developed new coping skills to help us through the tough times. We are constantly evolving and learning from past experiences which in turn changes our perspective. Maybe like the turtle, we’ve climbed up enough rocky enclosures only to find ourselves right back where we started. Again and again we brush ourselves off and grow wiser with each attempt. We’ve learned the important rule – That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Sure we may end up on our shell every once in a while, but if you don’t stick your neck out you’ll always feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.