A reader commented under my article on the Virtue of Patience (I’m paraphrasing), “Why is it so hard? I try and try, but it’s exhausting. I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall and it’s hurting so badly that I just want to give up”. Hell, that is some truth right there. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? So tired and hurt that we just want to crawl away and give up. So, what do we do?
Trust me, I have been there. I have tried and tried and tried again, only to have it thrown back at me. I have given all I could and then given more, only for it not to be enough. I wish I could promise you that you could change that person with understanding or that they would wake up one day and get that you are doing all you can for them. But I can’t tell you that.
Life is no movie, and sometimes no matter how hard we try, we still fail. However, giving up is not the answer. Nothing seems easier sometimes than just giving up and walking away (and trust me, I’ve been close). Yet for me, I stay and keep trying because no matter how much it hurts, I refuse to say die and give up.
I can’t control how others feel, and I can’t control the world, but I can control how I choose to live and act each day—and in the end, that is all any of us can do. No matter if we are struggling with our spouses, our families, our work or the state of the world, in the end, all we can do is our best each and every day. This idea is summed up in the Latin phrase, “Vos can tantum control te”, or you can only control yourself.
Yes, victory may well elude us in the end, but if something is worth fighting for, then it’s worth fighting for even when the outlook seems grim. As the old saying goes, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, so let’s face the dark together then and hope for the dawn.
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