It’s been said that “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Sometimes, just to survive life’s tests takes more than luck or skill. At times, it requires extreme courage ~ to be wise and strong enough to make the right choice, even if it breaks our hearts. To be far-sighted enough, intuitive enough, to make the best choice for the future. But to also be near-sighted enough to recognize the pain we might have to endure to get there. And be brave enough to face it anyway. It may, at times, hurt so much that we wish the test would kill us.
Trial by Fire ~ to endure and survive is to become tempered, like the steel that is folded hundreds of times. We survive, and we sometimes learn, if we are lucky. There are times when the lesson escapes us, and we must be tempered, folded, again and again…in the hopes that we finally learn and are stronger for the knowledge.
Each one of us has different trials and tests to face in life, unique to us as individuals, and yet, most are lessons in humanity: what it means to be human. No situation is so unique that someone, somewhere, at some time, has not had to deal with the exact same problem. How we deal with it determines if the lesson sticks.“What does not kill us makes us stronger.” Hearts can be broken, over and over, but in the end, what does not forever still the passion inside, makes the heartbeat stronger, louder…and ultimately wiser.
It has also been said that “The hardest part of holding on…is letting go”. The more often you have to let go of things or people that you love, the harder it seems to get to hold on to them, in my experience. But the concept is still true, none the less. We never truly “own” anything, except ourselves and our actions or reactions to the rest of the world. I’m not talking about material possessions, either. I’m talking about the things which really matter in this world…pets, friends, family, mates…people.
“Ownership” or “possession” is simply an illusion of this world. And control is the penultimate illusion, because the only person you can control is you. And even then…you have to be able to “let go” of that control sometimes, in order to discover what is truly worth “holding on to” in your life. So many times, we don’t discover what’s important, what’s really worth holding on to in life, until it’s already too late. And while the lesson may finally “stick”, it comes at the high price of loss.
So the Steel Heart gets wiser and stronger. But with that wisdom and knowledge has to come acceptance – of the fact that nothing lasts forever. And with that acceptance comes sadness, because it means that Robert Frost was right when he said “Nothing gold can stay.” THAT is the lesson. Nothing lasts forever, whether it’s a family bond, a friendship or a relationship…and in order to have anything “real”, you have to accept that it will at some point be gone or changed forever. You’ll have to “let it go”. It never really “belonged” to you in the first place.
Steel Hearts are the strongest and truest. They have had to be, in order to survive. But I also think, sometimes, that they are the saddest.