Friedrich Nietzsche in this statement says that when you go through tough times, you gradually build up the strength for the next painful event. In case of a trauma, it may be quite a comforting thought. But most importantly, how do you feel about this statement? Does it resonate with you, or does it sound cliched?
It can be viewed as a war wound, to heal from a really bad time feeling more powerful and ready to take on the next battle. But with me, that is not quite the case. Especially after rough days and tough times, I find myself weaker and more sad. For me the quote goes like – What doesn’t kill you hurts you incredibly and makes you vulnerable and pathetic.
At times, it happens that a few tough situations help in becoming a stronger person. But the really big things, the things that totally altered my life without my consent, the loss of my most loved ones, the horrible experience of being desperately lonely or panic-stricken with anxiety and such other times have bought nothing empowering in me. I’ve felt my heart shatter into pieces and my soul dry, but I never felt stronger after those days. I was only happy that they were over.
I personally feel that strength doesn’t come from life’s worst moments, rather it comes from the best. Whenever I am loved, I feel strong. I find strength in the times when I’ve been most generous and caring. I find strength when I am able to deal well with the bad days. But I feel weak when I face those gloomy bad days. So with me, what doesn’t kill me, does not make me stronger, rather it makes me more weaker and snatches the entire energy out of my existence.
A smiling face does not always mean that a person is happy. Smile is something that can hide anything going on in a person’s mind. But it can hide the pain to a certain limit.
When I was going through this painful phase where I lost my mom, I was totally a different person. I would sit on park benches for hours pushing back tears, fighting to stay upright, and always seconds away from being a total freak out. Anyone passing by me, looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or sometimes noticed the occasional break in my voice and simply would ask me what’s wrong. Frankly speaking, at that point of time I was so lost and frustrated that I simply wanted to wear a sign that said: I LOST MY MOM. PLEASE GO EASY.
When things go wrong with you, you are actually the one who has to face everything. No one can ever understand an inch of your pain that you are going through, no one has any idea of the gaping sinkhole that has just opened up and swallowed the normal life of yours.
Life is a battle and we are all warriors. Everyone around you is experiencing the collateral damage of living, in one way or the other. They are all grieving someone, fighting their own battle, missing someone and are worried about someone. Every single human being you pass by is fighting to find peace, to get through their daily tasks without breaking down. Pain-ravaged people are everywhere and we are quite oblivious to them. But no one wears the sign – I AM STRUGGLING, SO BE NICE TO ME. And since they don’t, it’s up to you and me to look more closely and be more considerate towards them. Because most people are hanging by a thread and our simple kindness can be that thread.
No matter how hard the hidden stories around us might be, if you look with the right eyes, you’ll see the signs. Be considerate, be loving because all happy faces aren’t happy.