Finding Strength Within

“God never gives you anything more than you can handle.” This is a very common phrase, often used to inspire others, and yet, often times we find someone praying for God to grant them the strength/courage/will to overcome something. Quite the paradox, to someone looking from the outside in.

But to me, I believe that God has already granted us all the strength, courage, endurance, Intelligence, willpower, we’ll ever need in our lives, as Galileo put it, “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.” The wells that contain these abilities lie within oneself.

It’s all based on one’s own beliefs, and ethics, and how strongly they hold to them. If someone is fearful, then they’ll think that they have no courage, but what the case really is, is that they have yet to tap into the source of courage that lies dormant within them.

Often times in stories, the Hero discovers a hidden/special ability/item that allows them to defeat the great evil that threatens oblivion, but even to acquire that ability/item, the Hero had to fight and travel using what he knew, what he started off with.

In the beginning of any Mario Bros. game, you had only 2 abilities: Run and Jump, and you had to use them to find the mushrooms and fireflowers, and Yoshis to help you reach the final level where Bowser has taken Princess Peach, Link starts off with a Sword, and in practically every Final Fantasy, you start off either at Level 5 or Level 1, with basic equipment. Yet, throughout each game, you have to use what you already have at your disposal in order to gain more advanced levels. In each quest, you have to stick to what you already know in order to go forward, and utilize them in nearly any and every way you can. For Mario, one discovers that when one jumps on several enemies enough times, without stopping, a 1-Up is gained, Link can use interesting sword techniques to expose an enemy’s underbelly, in Final Fantasy, critical hits are delivered at random and can cause severe damage to their enemies.

Translating this to life, one can see that within ourselves, we have all of the power needed in order to conquer ever demon that stand before us. All it takes is just the ability to stand up and say, “I can do this.” followed by small actions that lead towards that goal.

My current goal is to get a good score on the MCAT, and in order to accomplish this, I have to discover the formulas and equations hidden within my Well of Knowledge and Science, at the proper moment, but in order for that, I have to start at Science Level 1, and it’s a long and draining process. So what can help me keep pressing when my eyes are a nice red glaze and my mind is more fried than an egg? When the hours are late and the information is becoming more and more like a foreign language than an equation? It’s during these moments, that feels like the well has run dry, but beneath it, lies another. It’s more than strength, it’s beyond it. It’s the drive. When strength is gone, and the mind is drained, what lies beneath all this is the motivation to keep pressing forward. When the body feels like lead, the motivation keeps your legs moving, your heart pounding, your lungs breathing.

Motivation is what fills the Wells that one reaches into first, and from there, you go and dig deeper into your soul. You start to see everything that you can only see as you approach the bottom of the Well, your limitations, your motivations, and which of them will outlast the other. God has already given you everything you’ll ever need, from motivation, to how you’re going to see it and have it engraved in your own soul, so that when there are no structures left and all the lights go out, one shall remain…

Yours.

Remembering the Crow

There was a day, when I was in the middle of college, I was 19, didn’t have my license or car, so there was a small walk I had to take from my house down the road to the Bus stop.

So I was coming home one day, and I was overcame with a feeling to run, for exercise. so I had my bag-sling/satchel and then, I started running, the road between bus stop and home wasn’t far, so I was planning on running all the way. Simple enough.

When I started, I heard a crow beginning to caw, being in California, this was common, so I paid it no mind, although, I didn’t see one, so that thought remained for a brief moment.

Running still, about the first third of the way, the cawing stops.

Halfway there, I got the sensation to keep running… to not stop, but to keep running… it was a strange sensation, one that I’ve not experienced before, so naturally I kept running.

Then I heard the crow caw again, but it’s not from a rooftop across the street, it’s not flying off high above me in the sky… it is right behind me!

I’m still running, and I somehow know that this Crow is right behind me, what he’s doing I have no idea, but it’s right about head-level, then I feel it: the crow’s feet, lunging at the back of my head. In a brief moment, I can feel the upper claws grazing the hairs in the back of my head, it was almost as if, it wasn’t a crow’s feet, but a clawed hand trying to grab me when I was running! The moment was brief, only a fraction of a second, the sensation of claws be they, crows or otherwise, just barely scraping the back of my head was certainly real, without a doubt.

After that, I was still running, if not faster, and I finally reached the street I needed to cross in order to come home, I turned back and there was nothing in the sky, not even the other common birds, the power cables and rooftops were empty.

To this day, I’ve often thought whether or not what I felt was real, or a figment of my imagination or perhaps a metaphor of some aspect of my life, how close evil is truly behind me, or maybe, it could just be that the Crow thought I was a giant bug and it tried to eat me, Ha ha ha.

Still, me being the kind of person that I am, I’m more inclined to think towards the former, that somehow, manifested in my life, was a sign or symbol, of something, often times the Crow/Raven was depicted as the bearer of bad news, the bringer of misfortune, and the like, but I remember the rest of the day being fine.

Perhaps, this is not meant as an external sign, but an internal one. If I slow down in my path to life, or if I look back and lose my way, I’ll be taken by the demons whose hands lie just inches away from grabbing me. I ran because it came naturally to me, so if I stuck to what is good for my life, and what is natural, although pushing me to my limits, I’ll be ahead of that which can drag me to Hell, and finally reach the end of my road, Home.  With this, I realize that my road is much longer than just down the street, and my Home is far greater than where I am now, but that also means that the Crow that tried to grab me is now truly a demon just waiting for me to slow down and throw me into a state of mind that will drive me away from moving towards Home. My path, although long and obviously more complicated than a straight line, isn’t completely shrouded in darkness and despair, it’s merely at the end, for I know what is right and what is wrong, the whole point is to stay on the path, and watch out for the crows.