Author, Teacher, Psychologist and Speaker

Posts Tagged "Faith"

I HOPE YOU DANCE

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in Blog, Monday Musing | 6 comments

(Today’s post, though not original, is meaningful to my life. I hope the same for you!)

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger

May you never take one single breath for granted

God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance

Never settle for the path of least resistance

 Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking

Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth making

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter

When you come close to selling out reconsider

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

I Hope You Dance lyrics by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers

Sung by Lee Ann Womack

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger!

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Blog, Monday Musing | 6 comments

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…stand a little taller…”

~ Kelly Clarkston, Stronger

 

There has long been a debate among psychologists, scientists, and theologians regarding the familiar saying:  “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

This phrase was originally credited to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in his autobiography, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is. Although he was sick and dying, suffering from the effects of terminal syphilis, he was still able to philosophize and write about his “triumph” over debilitating pain and agony. His disease devastated not only his body, but his mind, yet until his dying day, he remained strong in his will to survive.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Some psychologists disagree, and attribute triumph in adversity to those who are already the strongest. They hold that there is nothing to be gained in suffering through “the crippling experiences of life.”

Other scientists have concluded that “although traumatic experiences such as losing a loved one can be psychologically damaging, small amounts of trauma can make us more resilient,” and that even in the face of death, the will to survive can become strengthened. That is why people can live for years with chronic pain and life threatening disease.

 “What does not kill you makes you stronger,” though often relegated to a worn cliché, is very inspirational and true to my own life. Years ago, I was diagnosed with stage IV bilateral lung adenocarcinoma. My doctor said that my cancer was too invasive to be removed by surgery, too extensive to be treated with radiation, and that there was no proven chemotherapy protocol. It was terminal. No cure. The devastation and terror I experienced is hard to articulate.

I had never thought of myself as a particularly strong person. In fact, I often “gave up” on things I found too tough. So when my oncologist told me that he would try an experimental procedure and that if I survived the therapy, I had a “fighting chance”, the concept of gaining strength through suffering became a daily challenge.

How could I possibly find strength while hooked up to IVs filled with chemotherapy month after month for almost eight years, crawling on my hands and knees to the bathroom night after night, watching my hair fall out strand by strand? The debilitating fatigue, painful neuropathy, and numbing “chemo brain”, was anything but strength producing. And yet, I survived. Was it because I was so strong? I doubt that.

I fought – to be thankful, to stay positive, to chase hope, to understand and support the many who were suffering similar and worse fates than me. For me, I know that fight and that adversity made me stronger. Through the suffering, through the faith I found.

In Romans, Paul says, “And not only that, but let us exult while in tribulations, since we know that tribulation produces endurance.”

 

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

 

~ Rudyard Kipling, If

 

What do you face today? No matter if the issue is physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, or financial. Whether it is small in the light of things or monumentally overwhelming for you personally, though you may feel it may kill you, can you let it make you stronger?

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