Over the centuries we have read tales about the courage and tenacity of great leaders and many humble individuals. I have always been left completely amazed and speechless at what they have achieved by simply not giving up!
In my own family and friendships I have witnessed such courage and strength in the simple act of hanging on against many odds that their stories are the ones I have replayed in my mind when I have needed it most.
The ability to hang on, is it a simple act than? I have asked myself at least a million times…
Many times we call it love, devotion, stubborness, honour even madness. But are these things simple by nature or are they a true art and a skill? A skill aquired over decades and from many different role models?
At this point of my life I can no longer ask for instruction and advice of my parent, although I am reasonably sure what they might say if they were alive, so I must draw my own conclusions from my own experiences of dedication and commitment to use that to practice my own art… The art of hanging on.
It helps a great deal when you have a partner that will help you do whatever it takes and inspire you push on. Sometimes it’s their skills at work when you feel like you can go no further.
It’s a strange paradox that the strength and will power needed to quit a bad habit or a toxic relationship can also make us too hard in ourselves when we need to show compassion, kindness and forgiveness. Sometimes the drive needed to obtain something difficult is the same inner voice that tells us we should quit and end it all
The same will to keep going can also have us holding on to things that are bad for us.
I would love to be able to say that the years I have spent fighting and battling these diseases has been all due to my wonderful courage and my skills at not giving up, but that would be a lie. There are many times I have wanted to give up. Begged for life to let me go, but it has not to happened.
The art of hanging on comes and goes like the tide. It’s a life long road of discovery for me. Somethings it comes very easily… Like hanging on to an old friendship or love. Not letting go of a comfy old pair of shoes or a loyal pet. And then some things are very hard indeed.
Sometimes when I look at this world and what it does I wonder how and why we have gone on for so long! … And then I will look at my loved ones and I can’t even imagine a life without them… It’s the ultimate dilemma for me.
Currently as I watch my elderly dog struggle to get to his feet I know in my heart that he is doing this out of habit and reflex. Out of wanting to be near me. Is that the answer? Do we do what we do as a habit and a reflex? Do we hold the pain inside and struggle along out of habit? Out of ritual? Out of love? Out of hope?
There is no way of living this life without pain and sacrifice. There is no way we get to opt out of the hard stuff if we want to say we have truly lived.
Perhaps knowing that and truly accepting that fact is the best way of starting to learn the art of hanging on.