Life is a Journey Sometimes Walked in Light, Sometimes in Shadow
The book, “Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance,” by Native American writer Joseph M. Marshall III, opens with an extended monologue by the spiritual Lakota Sioux grandfather to his grandson, attempting to help him deal with loss. Here’s part of what he says:
“In life there is sadness as well as joy, losing as well as winning, falling as well as standing, hunger as well as plenty, badness as well as goodness. I do not say this to make you despair, but to teach you reality. Life is a journey sometimes walked in light, sometimes in shadow.
You did not ask to be born, but you are here. You have weaknesses as well as strengths. You have both because in life there is two of everything. Within you is the will to win, as well as the willingness to lose. Within you is the heart to feel compassion as well as the smallness to be arrogant. Within you is the way to face life as well as the fear to turn away from it.
Life can give you strength. Strength can come from facing the storms of life, from knowing loss, feeling sadness and heartache, from falling into the depths of grief. You must stand up in the storm. You must face the wind and the cold and the darkness. When the storm blows hard you must stand firm, for it is not trying to knock you down, it is really trying to teach you to be strong.
Being strong means taking one more step toward the top of the hill, no matter how weary you may be. It means letting the tears flow through the grief. It means to keep looking for the answer, though the darkness of despair is all around you. Being strong means to cling to hope for one more heartbeat, one more sunrise. Each step, no matter how difficult, is one more step closer to the top of the hill. To keep hope alive for one more heartbeat at a time leads to the light of the next sunrise, and the promise of a new day.
The weakest step toward the top of the hill, toward sunrise, toward hope, is stronger than the fiercest storm. Keep going.”
Photo is of Sitting Bull, the Lakota Sioux chief who defeated Custer.