Survivor? Consider the Roses...
“She’s the strongest person I know”
“She’s a survivor”
Survivor. You hear so much about that… sayings, stories, messages of inspiration…
When I think “survivor”, I think of suits of armor… hard as steel…valiant, intimidating, victorious…
We’re all survivors. If you have lived this life on this planet for any time at all, you’re a survivor. Nobody escapes this adventure without at least one visit from the infamous curved ball. It’s life. It wears different disguises for each of us, like snowflakes, it’s different for every single person, every single time. They’re all different. But they’re still snowflakes. They’re all different, but they’re still challenges. They’re still occasions we are called to rise to. Hell, toddlers are survivors. Learning to walk. If we faced that now at this age, we’d say “Screw this! I’m all set with it!” In their world, they see everybody doing it…they walk. they get from here to there. gotta have some of that, yup. Ok. up on your feet. Down on your butt. Over. and over. and over. Yup. All set with that. But at that age, they have resilience. They have tenacity. They haven’t lived long enough to know about giveupitis.
I don’t want to be a “survivor” … I don’t like the implications.
So, what, then?
Well, consider the roses. They are soft, and tender, and beautiful. They are fragrant. There are thirteen thousand varieties, and they are all different. They bring comfort and pleasure to all who encounter them. They are a token of goodness, and a symbol of love. Their beauty blesses the eyes, their fragrance, the sense of smell. Their message blesses the spirit. Good things. And still, they have thorns. You can pursue them, but if you don’t know what you’re dealing with, if you have no idea what they are or how they operate, well, you’re gonna get hurt. You can’t move in too quickly, you can’t get too close too fast. You can’t play rough, you need to be careful, and gentle, and meticulous. You have to respect them. You have to nurture them, and water them, and treat them with tenderness…even at that, in time, they will fade and pass… but their memory will continue… the day you got the roses, and why…
Nope. I don’t want to be a survivor. I want to be a blessing.
Being a survivor is a given. If you are still here, you’re a survivor. If you learned to and are able to walk, you’re a survivor. And if you didn’t or you can’t, you have survived living this life without that advantage, you have learned an alternative to the easy, to the common, you’re a survivor.
I’m more than that. We all are. Sure, we’ve dodged a few curved balls, even been hit by a few… but if you can wake up in the morning, smile and remember what is good and light and focus on that, that’s the goal. You’re on the road. You’re journey is more than making it, it’s enjoying it, it’s giving back, you’re a blessing.
Dan Fogleberg summed it up, “I may miss the harvest, but I won’t miss the feast” …
‘You’re the strongest person I know’ … we all are. You don’t have to look hard to find anyone who has not faced the adversity you have, who has not been through what you have. And you don’t have to look much farther to find someone who has faced something you haven’t … who has passed through something you couldn’t.
“Be kind to everyone you meet. Everyone is facing some kind of battle.”
What may seem like a cakewalk to you may be taking every thing they have… and what they are succeeding at, may be beyond anything you could ever imagine.
Choose tenderness. Choose goodness. Surviving the curved balls, well, that’s a given. “Our graves are all the same size, stay humble.” Take what you need, and every chance you get, give back. We’re all in this together, and it’s sure as hell not easy.