Only You Are Responsible For Your Own Wellbeing, Part 4
- by Bryan Brubaker, Think Twice Educator What is perseverance?
When I was a kid, I would always pronounce it “per-ser-veer-ance.” When I was a teen, and actually began reading the word – instead of just hearing and speaking it – I realized it is “per-seh-veer-ance” and it looks like there’s a word in the middle there – and that word is “severe”. Now, I didn’t know anything about the etymology (the study of word origins & histories) of “perseverance” – I didn’t even know what etymology was – but it always seemed that when I read it, something severe was being talked about. Some wayward scullion (dishwasher) was persevering through some fantastical adventure (cold, lonely, tired, scared, hungry, alone, betrayed, terrified, injured, shamed, rejected (this is what all those who would be heroes must endure)) to save the princess. And dude would just finish getting through one trial – by the skin of his teeth usually – only to be pounced on by the next one, but with fewer friends to help him. But each trial he overcomes is actually refining him, making him stronger, wiser, more skilled, efficient, effective; it changes his aura and presence; he is changed from an object of scorn to one that inspires awe, and even a touch of fear. And isn’t this the archetype ideal hero? Haven’t we seen just this play out in every Marvel movie, the Lord of the Rings series; it’s in every story we humans tell, it’s how we got Mario and Link(Zelda). There’s something in you that resonates with all of this…
We know that this life is not fair. Things have happened to us that we could not prevent, things we didn’t deserve, things that wish were not a part of our past. And we’ve all done things to others we should not have, things that were hurtful – sometimes even hurting people on purpose – and we all develop various defense mechanisms in response. Overcoming these things – learning to allow them to make us stronger – is what can turn tragedy into triumph. You can break the cycle of abuse, physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, even the abuse you use against yourself in your head to hurt you because you still think you deserve to be hurt. You can break the cycle. It requires perseverance. It requires you to learn acceptance and forgiveness – to forgive others, and to forgive yourself. It requires you to learn to change your thinking. It requires transformation. And it will take your whole life, or it will take your life. See, you can choose to make the sacrifice or it will be made for you. You can learn to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference; or fall victim to destructive patterns of behavior, ever frustrated, always stumbling over the same sorry issues. The sacrifice is great – again, it is your life – but there is no great reward without great sacrifice. And what is the reward? You get to spend the rest of your life with that, too.
This is a link to a clip from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that really kind of sums up perseverance. :)