It is not what happens to you in life that defines who you are. It is, rather, how you handle what happens to you in life – that’s what defines who you are.
It is not the disappointment of the layoff notice, the distress of the default on the mortgage, the heartbreak of the divorce, the darkness of reoccurring depression, the dread of the diagnosis of cancer, or the anguish of losing a loved one.
It is not what happens to us in life that defines who we are. It is how we handle life’s trials, disappointments, and failures – life's enemies. That’s what defines who we are, and, perhaps more importantly, who we will become.
I battle with reoccurring depression. And when it “reoccurs,” I don’t just feel a little sad. When it reoccurs, I can barely get myself out of bed each morning. I feel like I am being smothered in a blanket of darkness, sorrow, and despair. I used to let the darkness overtake me and I would stay in bed, wrapped up in my blankets, until noon. And when I would emerge from my bedroom sometime in the early afternoon, I would feel even more hopeless and defeated than I felt that morning.
What I have learned over the years, weary from battle, is that I must fight back. I must defend myself from such enemies. And only I can do it – no one can do it for me. So, on those “reoccurring” mornings, I gather up every ounce of strength within me and I command to the darkness: “You will NOT defeat me. You will not smother me with your shroud of hopelessness and despair. You crawl back down that slime pit that you came from and leave me alone.”
What is your enemy? Will you let stress, despair, or disappointment defeat you? Or will you summons your strength and conviction to rise above the trials?
Tell the disappointment: “You will NOT bring me down.” Declare to the distress: “You will NOT move me.” Command to the heartbreak: “You will NOT conquer me.” Dictate to the darkness: “You will NOT defeat me.” Proclaim to the dread: “You will NOT overwhelm me.” Avow to the anguish: “You will NOT destroy me.”