The Whole Story Has Yet to Be Written

I will stay with it and endure through suffering hardship, and once the heaving sea has shaken my raft to pieces, then will I swim.
— Homer, The Odyssey
Image source: Pexels

Image source: Pexels

Life will punch you in the gut. This much is certain. It will drop to your knees, take hold of the back of your head and push your face into the muck and mire until you think you can't take any more, that you've breathed your very last breath.

I don't envy you if you haven't had this experience.

Because it's just a matter of time. Your day of reckoning will come. A hurt that terrifies you to your core, and which threatens to capsize you, will knock you down and make you doubt if you will ever get back up again.

Pick your poison: illness, heartbreak, the loss of a loved one, a spiritual epiphany, career extinction. Any of these will do. The only catch is you don't get to pick; it will pick you, and probably when you least expect it.

There is a silver lining however. Because once you emerge from the other side -- if you emerge from the other side -- you will have earned a hard-won wisdom.

This is when your life will really start. Your second life. The one you can live after you've shed, because they no longer serve you, the myths and prejudices and beliefs and biases that had been holding your life together ever so tenuously.

After you've reclaimed your life from the fears that harassed you throughout your journey to adulthood.

Learning that fear governs our lives, and the many coping strategies we have evolved to manage it, may be an unpleasant discovery but it is the beginning of liberation.
— James Hollis, What Matters Most: Living a More considered life

This wisdom will teach you how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. To not be complacent when you're riding high, or get lost in hopelessness when you've sunk to what must be rock-bottom. To be attentive to, and grateful for, the small and often fragile beauties all around you. To accept the things you can't change, and to change the things you must.

Things are always evolving. The story is still unfolding. New chapters will be written, with plot twists and unexpected surprises (some pleasant, others not so much) and new characters entering from off-stage.

Don't look for endings that aren't there. Remember that every ending, when seen from the other side, is a new beginning.

So keep fighting. Don't give up. Lean into the next thing -- the next part of your story -- with everything you've got.

Keep. Moving. Forward.