“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” – Unknown
I do not pretend to think that I have been through rough times in my life. I lost a best friend when I was 16. I lost my only grandparent at 26. I lost my cousin at 30.
All of those experiences were sad and unfortunate. I was grateful that I got to experience those years with them. Someone else suffered quite a bit more than me because of their loss. They lost a daughter, a father, and a son.
A week before my 16th birthday, I was shot in the eye with a BB gun. I went to the doctor that night and was told that I had a slightly torn retina. Surgery was scheduled for the next day. My retinologist fixed me up, and I was able to resume my baseball playing in just 10 days.
I was in my sophomore year of high school. I remember the evening like it was yesterday. The doctor gave me grave news about my retina that scared our family. They knew how important baseball was to me and obviously how important my vision was to that. I am a left handed hitter and it was my lead eye that was the issue. I remember telling the doctor that if there were any issues with my vision that I would learn how to hit right handed so I could use that eye to see.
Fortunately, I was given a great retinologist. He told me that he had fused together retinas that looked like Swiss cheese and mine would be a piece of cake. He was right. My surgery was successful and I have never had problems a day in my life since.
I think about those who have not been so fortunate. They have lost limbs, lost lives, lost friends, lost family. They grieve. They move on. They lose jobs, they suffer financially. They move on.
Each time I hear those stories of tragedy, I think about how fortunate I am. These stories provide me with proper perspective. I hear stories of strength. I hear stories of perseverance. I hear stories of dedication. I hear stories of loyalty.
Whenever my life gets tough, I am reminded of these moments. I am reminded of what I’ve been through and reminded of what others have been through. It is not easy, but it lets you know that no matter what hand you are dealt that you can make it through.
We draw the strength from others. Those who continue to fight on despite their circumstances let us know that we can make it through. They give us strength. They give us hope. They let us know that no matter what happens we can move on and we can keep living and moving forward.
We are given one life to live. That life may not always be the easiest, but we must have faith. We must know that we are capable of handling whatever comes our way. We learn this from watching others overcome. We learn this from others moving on. We learn this from others fighting strong to pick up the pieces and keep on living.
We are dealt the hand we are dealt because we can handle it. It may not be solely for us, but to show others that they too can move on and move forward. By doing so, it allows us to do the same. One day at a time, one moment at a time. Our life may never get easier, but it always gets stronger because we rely on others who have been through those shared experiences with us. Those experiences make us tougher. They make us better. They help us become strong enough to live the life we are given.
Learn from others. Use their stories for strength. Realize you are strong enough to survive. You are tough enough because someone needs you to be. You are tough enough because you can be.
Bring your best today!