Surviving Life

 

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ~ Seneca

“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It is the grip in which one holds those fragments that counts.”  ~ Melina Marchetta

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.”  ~ Stephen King

“Yet, if you can get through the twilight, you’ll live through the night.”  ~ Dorothy Parker

“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.”  ~ Laura Hillenbrand

“Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”  ~ May Sarton

**** “Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.”  ~ Robertson Davies

from the Desk of MarDrag:

In the post “The Possibility of a Moment”, there is a quote that reads….”life is a series of moments strung together”……and so it is. Sometimes, the string of moments are a beautiful thread that lights up our tapestries and weaves a wonderful picture in our lives, with sweeping goodly emotions and breathtaking panoramas. But, sometimes those moments can be made up of frayed threads, broken strings and colors all awash with frightening darkness and anguish.  Sometimes things happen in life that are unexpected, unexplained and uncontrollable, and we despair about what to do or how to do it, or make it change or fix it, or how to make it better or right itself.

It is easy to love ourselves through the good moments, to be proud of ourselves and to manage life as that part of the tapestry weaves itself. But when the weave goes awry, what then do we do to our tapestries?

In the quote above, Laura Hillenbrand says, “Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen.” And that, I believe, is what makes the difference. If we can maneuver through the damaged threads of our tapestry with dignity, then we can survive the moments that would otherwise ruin the bind.  It is the poise and character with which we face those broken threads that give them the substance to be gathered up again and rewoven into the fabric of our pictures. And it is those mended threads that give our tapestries the quality, personality, and spirit that make it our own story, our own unique existence. It is these faulted moments that make up the landscape of our lives and make them the distinctive and irreplaceable embroidery that we call our self……and without them…..and the dignity with which we hold our heads high in the face of them…..that sets us apart from each other.

Surviving life, or the break in our threads, does not come easy. But somehow, through our acts of courage to move on, we find that we are stronger than we thought ourselves to be because, yes, another day has come and gone, and we survived it. And then time passes into something else.

So, take up your needles, thread your threads, and weave those landscapes in the most amazing ways you can imagine….broken and frayed threads and all…..and hang your tapestries proudly for all the world to see. Some will judge it, some will criticize it, and some will even dislike it….but that does not matter.  Because it is those that love it (including ourselves) that really count and they will always be there to help us stitch and mend the threads we have torn, and they will love us even more for having tried. As we should too, for ourselves and others.

Now stand back, and look at the tapestry as a whole picture, and see that one thread does not define the picture of itself…it takes many threads of different colors, to make the self a whole. And in that, lies the beauty. And also in that, lies the soul that survived through all the stitching.  That, in and of itself, is a miracle. And so are you!

Blessings!

22 comments on “Surviving Life

  1. Mardrag, I can’t thank you enough for this post and the way you wove it into the theme of “You Are Not Alone”. It’s probably safe to say that most of us have something that lies just under the surface, and, when something triggers that pain, can leave us reeling. So, after putting it in perspective, we really can get back up on our feet. If what happened in my real life and on the blog inspired this post and let your other readers know that we all have those moments when life throws us curve balls, then, while it wasn’t easy to do, it was worth sharing.

    • Lovely comments Empress, and thank you for sharing yourself with us. It is not always easy, but it is good that we share ourselves and show others our strengths, along with the weaknesses, because we can not only be there for each other so no one is ever alone….but we can also learn from each other, and that creates a foundation that can support us all.

      You are a brave and lovely woman. I am pleased and grateful that you find comfort here and feel comfortable sharing here. Love and hugs to you!!

  2. MarDrag, your post brings to mind my oldest daughter. Throughout her teen years she suffered from depression. We got her therapy and she seemed to improve. In January of her Junior year of college, she called us and said that she wasn’t well. She wasn’t going to classes and she wasn’t getting out of bed. She needed to withdraw from school and come home. She did, and we got her a good psychiatrist and therapist. Through much trial and error, the right combination of medications was found, therapy was healing, and she returned to school the following fall. Because of her illness and her treatment, she missed out on many things she regrets – most notably being able to study abroad. However, she was able to graduate with her class despite taking a semester off, and is now in grad school. The day she graduated from college, she gave me a coffee mug that says: “Life is all about how you handle Plan B.”

    “And in that, lies the beauty. And also in that, lies the soul that survived through all the stitching.” I am so proud of her for all that she has overcome and all that she has accomplished, and that her soul survived through all the stitching.

    • Wow, trudie, thank you for sharing such a personal story. And a very inspiring one too. I am sorry for what your daughter, and you, had to go through….but it is so wonderful to hear how you and she survived it and, I am sure she is even stronger now for having been through it. When life gets difficult for her, she can always have this experience to look back on and draw courage and strength from it, knowing that she can get through anything.

      And, having you for a mother, to support and love her, is the border stitching around her tapestry that keeps her from unraveling completely. You have a remarkable strength in your own right, and I commend and acknowledge you for that.

      Be proud of her….and be proud of you too! Hugs!

    • Great story with a happy ending 🙂 I am so glad that she had you to come to when she needed the help, and that she found the support she needed. Congratulations to both of you.

    • Wow, Trudie. Your daughter is a very strong person. It’s not easy to go through stuff like she did. She actually came to you and wanted to resolve her depression. I have known people to spend years and years denying their struggles, watching their lives unravel.

      And you sound like a really great and supportive mom. ((Trudie))

      I also like what the coffee mug says a lot.

  3. Sheeeeesh Mardrag! I just sat down with a cup of coffee for a relaxing browse around the internet. I clicked on your page – and now my eyes are leakin’ all over the place!

  4. Beautiful post Mardrag. I really enjoyed the following:

    “It is these faulted moments that make up the landscape of our lives and make them the distinctive and irreplaceable embroidery that we call our self……and without them…..and the dignity with which we hold our heads high in the face of them…..that sets us apart from each other.”

    and

    “Now stand back, and look at the tapestry as a whole picture, and see that one thread does not define the picture of itself…it takes many threads of different colors, to make the self a whole.”

    While this post was very meaningful to me, these two quotes really made me stop and think. I don’t know if I am right, but I took them to mean that even mistakes or hardships will not ruin the whole tapestery (self). I like this as it reminds me to stop being so self-critical and just let it go – Let life happen.

    OT – Revenge tonight! Woohoo!

      • Hi Cali!!!! I read your response to me on the previous blog. Thanks for that. And I am doing okay, thanks for asking. It appears that I am not out of the woods with my sinus infection and I probably shouldn’t have worked outside this weekend when it was very cold (30’s-40’s) – so I need to take it easy now.

      • I felt much better today, and left my place… But it was cold out, and I hope I didn’t push myself too soon.

  5. Thank you all for your amazing comments! JustDee…..sorry about the leaky eyes….but release is good! 😛 trudie too!

    Boobha…..your take on the meaning of those quotes is very accurate. We are so hard on ourselves, and tend to give every negative or hardship far more energy than the positive things, and often, far more energy than they warrant.

    In addition….these things are only a thread within a tapestry that has many many threads, and they do not weave the entire picture, only fragments of it, and we should not allow them to color over our lives and negate the many good things we do and wonderful qualities we have.

    The more we focus on the positive aspects of our lives, the brighter the color of those threads will be, and the failures and hardships will blend in a more balanced way, as they should. They do NOT define the whole of the landscape of our lives. It is the courage, strength and love that make the light shine from our lives.

    As you all make the light shine in my life! Love you all for being here and for your conversation and lovely feedback! 🙂 Hugs to you!

    • I *know* release is good! In it’s place, lol.

      When I’m home……in Arkansas…..in the woods…..every once in a while I fill a cooler with beer……and fill a glass with Jagermeister…..put the headphones on with all the sad/happy country music that reminds me of my husband…….hang out on my back deck…..sing…dance….get wasted…and cry my ass off…..in a good way.

      I always feel so much better after! Hangover and all! 😆

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