We hear much about the resilient and indomitable human spirit. It is true. We as human beings are a truly durable and unshakable bunch. We can take a punch. And get back up again. It's in our nature. This doesn't mean that things don't break us. They do. Life is full of things that can rip at our psyche and all but destroy our spirit. But we heal. The human spirit is even more miraculous than the human body when comes to its healing abilities. Sometimes, it seems, too much so. Things that should break us completely and force us to be obliterated somehow mend. We break, we crack, we split almost in two, but we never quite reach the point of shattering. Somehow we always come back. Even when it seems like we shouldn't.
It has gotten me to wondering lately about the how and why of it all. We endure a lot, we human beings. Sometimes it seems we endure too much. Just thinking of some of the things we withstand is pretty overwhelming. Many of these brutal and unmerciful situations are just a natural part of life. We lose a loved one to death: a friend, a parent, a spouse, a child. We fail at things.We love someone who doesn't love us back. We lose our health. We age. Other conditions we do not all have to suffer, but far too many of us do. We are abused: physically, mentally, or emotionally. We are harassed, bullied, and berated. We get divorced and families are ripped apart. We are neglected and alone. People we love don't trust us, or treat us badly. We struggle: financially, physically, or psychologically. Some of these situations are not even always 100% negative. Like our children growing up. It's hard. We want this for them. It's what it supposed to happen. But it still cracks us, just a little bit. And probably them too.
I've been working on this post for a long time and since I started it, my dear brother-in-law lost his dad and just this week I received word that a cherished friend of mine, with two young children, lost her husband. All I can think is: It's too much. It is simply too much. We shouldn't be able to bear it. How do we get up and go on? Why? Why do we get up and go on? Why do we possess this ability to take such a beating without completely shattering? I consider myself to be a person of great faith, but sometimes even for me, it just seems to be too much.
But I believe there must be a reason we are built this way. A reason we heal and go on, even when it seems we shouldn't. Maybe it is to make us into the person we were meant to be. Maybe it is so that we can be there for friends and loved ones who are broken and need us to love and understand them. Maybe it is simply so that we know we can survive and go on. Maybe it's a combination of all of these things.
I'm no expert on the subject. I myself feel fractured in one way or another almost every day. But I haven't shattered. Not completely. Not yet. And perhaps that's the point. The knowing that we won't be annihilated. Th knowledge that all of us are a little bit broken. All of us sustain damage. But all of us keep pushing forward. Even when we sometimes wish it wasn't so. We are fragile. We are vulnerable. But we will not be shattered.