I wrote this earlier tonight on Twitter and I don’t think I’m going to write anything better tonight, so here it is…
I don’t know if I’ve ever written here about my teenage brain’s issues with the concept of Hell (and I’m too tired right now to go check). In short, in my high school naivete I thought that you couldn’t be tortured forever because at a certain point you would just become insensitive to it. Pain or torture or whatever would become the norm. At worst you would just give up and/or go insane. Something like that – it made sense at the time.
I’ve since learned that you can put up with a lot more suffering than I would have imagined back then, whether that suffering be physical, mental, or both. You deal with it, you move on, you keep going.
I understand there are folks whose psyche just goes bye bye and they literally just lose it all. I’m NOT in any way, shape, or form saying those folks are any worse or weaker or in any way less than people who keep going. Don’t go there.
But I keep going. Somehow. So far.
That’s really being tested.
Another thing I’ve always believed is that we’re all much stronger than we think we are. We all hate pain and try to avoid it (which is smart, by the way) and it leads to us not truly being tested to our limits. Which, I repeat, is smart because if it’s a “limit” and you go past it you can “break“! Which is generally not good.
Yet I’ve also found (one of those marathon running lessons) that the limits often aren’t where we think they are. Even the ones that are “soft” or in the “gray areas” can be pushed and exceeded. This is true both physically and mentally.
Pushing your physical boundaries by training for a marathon or a mountain climb or some other event can be good. Pushing your physical boundaries by having the zombie apocalypse chasing you is probably bad.
Pushing your mental and endurance boundaries by getting an MBA in your fifties while also working full time can be good. Pushing your mental and endurance boundaries by living through a pandemic crisis is probably bad.
But you can make it through. Most of us will, although few of us will be the same on the other side.
So I’ll finish with another Tweet, not one of mine, but from someone who I greatly admire. She’s better, smarter, and stronger than I’ll ever dream of and she’s used that to do things that I can only fantasize about. She’s learned a few things through those experiences. We should listen to her.
Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. And STAY HOME!!!