The tough times. The moments that make atheists talk to God under their breath. The days you seem asthmatic from all the anxious, heavy breathing. When the pitfalls deepen and the sudden twists jar your equilibrium. The seemingly never ending snowball of unfavoring circumstance.
The tough times tear at your feathered wings, wear away the soles on your toughest boots, scratch the lenses till your glasses crack. You feel them when you walk, that deep tissue ache around your joints from the stressful exertion of rising back to your feet; knees almost buckling from the world’s weight. The tough times greet you thereafter as the added bass in your voice when you speak – vowels and consonants now cloaked in pain and perseverance. They’re the story written between the lines in your brow and forehead; tales of anger, concern, insecurity, loss, and failure; the brutal human experience. The tough times lay within the rough patches on your palms, introducing themselves to others proudly.
We carry these tough times like badges, often wearing the residual damage on our stained sleeves. But, we smile anyway. After all, the sun still rises and shines. In fact, it doesn’t stop. Our viewpoint is just different. The cold and rain fade away. Our painful memories eventually release us from their clutches. And it’s then that we realize the beauty of our humanity, the wonderful resilience that kicks in every time we start relenting, letting the pull suck us into the depths. We resist stronger after each encounter with adversity. Our confidence soars as we look back at the obstacles that once barricaded happiness from our grasp and gaze toward the challenges in our future no longer afraid.
The tide moves not how we originally wished but just how it always did. Our perspective has changed, welcoming a greater sense of appreciation and understanding. So, if that tide ever so chooses to rise again in an effort to engulf us, waves climbing over the breeze to push us to the sea bottom, baby, we’ve learned to swim, and swim good.