You’ve heard that saying right? If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. Some people would disagree with that quite vehemently really, especially in a physical sense, but also in an emotional and psychological one. This is the kind of saying that tough, hardened people that don’t allow themselves to feel pain and have never been through a debilitating injury or psychological battering might say. Because to be honest it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but it also weakens a person that can’t handle the pressure of whatever “it” is.

In the literal sense, the thing that doesn’t kill you still makes you weaker.

A boulder landing on the lower half of your body won’t make you stronger, nor will getting into a car accident. In fact any physical act that breaks you down will only make your body weaker simply because that’s how the human body works. Once we’re broken we don’t come back to full strength unless a miracle happens or we happen to be taking part in a scifi movie where they can rebuild a person better than before. In the real world if something doesn’t kill you then it tends to at least leave a scar and a trace of weakness behind simply because it broke you down in a way.

Psychologically-speaking what doesn’t kill you will still have a better chance of making you weaker than leaving you stronger. In a sense whatever ‘it’ is will seek to destroy, not build. But what’s left behind when all is said and done is what will have to make the decision to stand up again and regain whatever strength is possible, or lie down and accept defeat. This is how we grow ‘stronger’ again, by denying our own demise.

You grow strong again by your own hand.

The tragedy that occurs before you decide to regain your strength is a catalyst to be sure, but it also stands alone as its own incident, apart from the determination that will be needed to regain one’s strength and confidence. In effect a tragedy will only ever tear someone down, though it will still be credited as a turning point in a person’s life when they decided to say ‘enough’ and take control of their life once again. It’s confusing really because with some folks it takes a tragic moment when they lose just about everything to do this, while at any point before the tragedy they could have been doing something different for a long, long time.

That which does not kill us doesn’t make us stronger, it simply opens our eyes to the moments we’ve willingly missed.

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