Imagine having to go through a surgery… Doesn’t matter for what; just a necessary surgery that will require an incision, perhaps the removal of something inside, closing, stitching and healing. Now, just imagine having to go through that WITHOUT any anesthesia. Despite being necessary, are you suddenly a bit more hesitant? You probably should be. Hell, most of us are leery of getting something BASIC done without some form of local anaesthetic, let alone major surgery.
But prior to the invention of general anesthesia in 1846, this was the reality you faced. Just imagine needing to have your appendix removed and the only way to do it was to have a bunch of medical personnel hold you down while the doctor laboured to ignore your screams of pain as he cut into you to remove the inflamed appendage. Sounds like something out of a bad Eli Roth horror movie, right? What if I told you that in some respects, life is very much the same?
Life will throw more than its fair share of painful moments at you, and I can guarantee that it does nothing to numb or soften the blow when it does. An uncle of mine always jokes that there are only two guarantees in this life, death and taxes! He stole that from Benjamin Franklin, of course (granted, I don’t think HE knows that). But on our way to the great beyond (or the next life, depending on what you ascribe to), we’ll face a number of unknowns, including how life will play out, what tragedies we’ll face and what pains will befall us. How we face those obstacles is what molds us into the people that we are.
Although it’s sometimes easy to blame others for our misfortune, and it’s quite accurate that many have a role to play in that arena, recognizing and admitting our faults is an important part of growth. I once wrote that when something bad happens in one’s life, the responsibility can be divided into three equal parts: part of it is someone else’s fault, some of it is fate, which is out of your hands. But one needs to recognize the fact that some of the responsibility will always be yours. Through words, deeds and/or actions, intentional or not, some of the fault lies with you.
To quote William Ernest Henley, you are the master of your fate. How things will play out is up to you. There are an unfortunate number of people in this world who enjoy watching it burn. They’ll do things that bring you harm, even if there is no cause or reason to do so (not that there is ever reason to intentionally do harm to others) But to continue on, to charge forward, to motivate yourself and find reason to keep going is the best damned revenge you could ever hope to bring against those who seek to harm you. And the best part is, you don’t even need to do it FOR revenge. When you are unrestrained by the harm others bring to you, that part takes care of itself!