I am fairly certain the majority of us have heard the expression "God doesn't give you more than you can handle", right? Well, I was flipping around between radio talk shows the other day when I heard the host say how offensive he found that expression to be! I was kind of stunned (well, not kind of). I am pretty sure I exclaimed, "What?!" out loud. Offensive? I couldn't even begin to grasp that perspective so I stuck around to listen.
To start with , his dislike of the saying had nothing to do with God or religion or faith so let's remove that from the equation and rewrite the expression as, "Nobody is given more than they can handle."
The radio host went on to say that when someone is suffering or grieving, saying "nobody is given more than they can handle" is like saying 'buck up'. That it is like saying since we already know you can handle this on the mere basis that you were given it, you might as well stop crying about it.
I thought, "Really?" I have always felt this expression was a reminder of our inner strength. We are human and, therefore, suffer and grieve at times. But, because we are human, we need to be reminded of the strength we have inside. How many times have any of you felt so overwhelmed you thought to yourself I cannot take one thing more? Like you are trying to keep your head afloat while your legs work double time to tread the water below the surface? Many times, right? But you made it. You are reading this right now so I know you tapped into your inner strength to come out on the other side. Maybe you are in the throes of being overwhelmed right now...what do you say to yourself as a reminder that you are strong and will make it through to better days?
I altered the following quote slightly because the original speaks to women but I wanted it to be all inclusive...
"A person's strength isn't just about how much he or she can handle before they break. It's also about how much they must handle after they are broken."
I read a great quote from a cancer survivor's blog (which I will credit when I find it again). She said something like yoga saved my soul when all I had gone there for was a tight tush. Yoga is your reminder of strength, sometimes physical but mostly mental and emotional and spiritual. Sitting still and watching your breath will directly link you to that Inner Spirit you have, the one that knows you are strong. I also read recently you cannot know Brahman (your inner Self) if you do not know Vayu, which is the Sanskrit word for air.
So, is saying you will not be given more than you can handle a powerful reminder of strength or a slap across the face of sorrow? I guess it comes down to perspective so I leave you with the following:
"Once or twice in our lives, we are given the chance to find out just how much inner strength we possess. Usually we find we have far more than we ever imagined."