LifeThought: It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it.

It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it. — C.S. Lewis

Have you ever wondered why some people fall apart when hard times come and other people manage to hang on and keep moving forward?

Even in times of a natural disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, in which the victims suffer the same loss, there are going to be some people who cannot handle the loss, fall into despair and get hopeless stuck, or worse. Yet some people will grieve over the loss, then pick themselves up and begin the process of moving on, rebuilding from what they have left, both emotionally and physically.

I don’t think I can speak for those who lose hope and give up because I have never experienced that level of despair–though I have come close! I can only speak from my perspective of having come through several tragedies and still having the desire to keep moving forward. I’m no stronger than anyone else, I just carry the load differently.

It is a choice. When hard times come–actually, when anything happens–you get to choose how you will respond. Will you choose to remain the victim and hold on to thoughts like “it’s not fair!” or “why do bad things always happen to me?” or “my life is over!” or “there’s no way I can get through this!”? Or will you choose to think “this is, indeed, a very hard situation, but I will not let it defeat me or define who I am; I don’t know how to recover from this, yet, but I will do everything in my power to find a solution. I will adjust my life’s plans and make new plans based on this reality!”?

It’s not all about me. I have two boys who depend on me to keep moving forward. That is not a burdensome responsibility, it is a powerful motivation! We live in families and communities and how we respond to situations impacts the lives of others. It also means I don’t have to shoulder the load all by myself. I can enlist the help of others and I can be a help to others with their loads where I am able.

It is all about perspective. From my perspective, if the load I’m carrying hasn’t killed me, there must be a reason for me to carry it. Maybe it’s to teach or prepare me for something, maybe it’s to teach someone else. I also know I will eventually get through it if I don’t give up. It may be very hard, but, by God’s grace, I’ll get through and look back and be glad I didn’t quit. It is perspective that tells me the present situation is not all there is.

Life can be hard, very hard, indeed. However, it’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it.

This is one of my daily “LifeThoughts” posts. If you enjoyed this, or any of my other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share it with your friends and followers!

Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve written? I’d love to hear your comments!

6 Responses to LifeThought: It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it.

  1. Leo Downey February 28, 2014 at 9:31 AM #

    In my letters to my son, the choice of how you let things affect you is a recurring theme. Just like your post here, I always try to point out that life is not fair, that life is struggle, and that playing the victim does no good. I don’t quite go with the Fred Nietzche approach that you alluded to by saying, “if the load I’m carrying hasn’t killed me, there must be a reason for me to carry it.” because even in my own life I have seen pointless struggle that to this day served no purpose other than to tell me that sometimes things have no point. Sometimes a struggle weakens us both in body and soul to a breaking point, but I do understand the concept and would agree with more often than not. Nice post.

    • Bruce February 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM #

      Leo, I appreciate the response and your kind words. It is often very hard to understand the reason for some things. For me, this is where faith must take over and I need to trust there was a reason even if I don’t comprehend it. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond!


    • Diane October 5, 2019 at 5:39 AM #

      Love your post. I found this by accident but I do not believe in coincidence. I was looking to definitely e what a burden is because an elderly parent has to be taken care of and feels that they are a burden. And I don’t feel they are a burden yet at times feel it’s a load to carry and at times feel overwhelmed. Your post was what I needed to put things in perspective .Such a profound thought that it’s the way we carry it. And many times we do try to carry too much by ourselves instead of placing it in God’s hands and enlisting the help of others. A million thanks for your post.

  2. Mariel February 28, 2014 at 4:20 PM #

    This was such a great post! I have always heard that God, the universe, a higher power will never give you more than you can bear. I catch myself saying stuff like “I would die if that happened to me” … From experience, I have never “died” from adversity. In the end it really is how we carry ourselves forward. Thank you for sharing

  3. Themba Amos March 12, 2014 at 11:49 PM #

    Since I met your page Bruce, I really enjoy looking at it more often. It really inspires and motvates me.

    All you saying is life motivational! The quotes really give me life and hope where I sometimes feel I shud give up.

    God bless you lots

    Thanks Bruce.

  4. Jackylyn Pical November 14, 2019 at 8:19 PM #

    Such a wonderful post! Live it. Thanks to this motivation.

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