The Camel and the Straw

Estimated 7 min read

We’re all familiar with the story of how the camel was loaded with supplies and other necessary traveling equipment, but it wasn’t until a simple piece of straw landed on top did every go awry.

Emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually we are much like that camel. We’re burdened with so many things and no matter how much we try to get ahead, there’s always that one little thing that just brings everything down.

Some will say that it’s up to us as individuals to choose how we feel it respond to things, but that can be especially difficult when it feels as if you’re on an island that is shrinking out in the middle of the ocean with no one around. It can become a battle against one’s self that will often lead down some interesting paths.

Many like myself will simply internalize it, hoping the events will simply be forgotten by my mind and when that doesn’t resolve things, jumping into work usually does because in that moment the only thing we’ve tied our self-worth to is how well we can be at our jobs.

Finding your true value

No matter how well we are ranked on annual reviews or the lack thereof, at the end of it all, we aren’t our job titles.

Now there isn’t anything wrong with a job you clock in, work on a bunch of tasks, attend ego filled meetings and then rush home. There is something wrong when we feel as if this is how life should be.

We each have the power to do so much towards making our environments better places, yet all we seem to find comfort in doing is trying to climb the totem pole of fame and fortune. Day in and out, we repeat the same routines and asking the same questions. Neglecting to see that most times we already have the answer.

Many of us lock away talents and skills that can brighten their part of the world, due to fear, procrastination and allowing others to make them believe whatever they do will fail, causing them to live life looking back with regret.

Truth is, not everyone will be as supportive as they swear they’ll be, especially when things aren’t always immediately benefiting them. The thing is, you only owe it to yourself to keep pushing forward. Otherwise, you will only be known for giving up.

You aren’t your job, degree, or whatever position in life you currently hold. Those things are only but a result of what you’ve done or can do.

It may be hard to do with everything that is going on in life but never forget who you are beneath it all.

The silver lining

Bad things happen. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. In most cases there is a silver lining that tends to get overlooked.

Recently, I had the luck to experience a flat tire. I couldn’t help but get upset in the moment. A myriad of questions ran through my mind. I wanted to understand why it have to happen at that moment, why did it happen when my entire family was with me, why was it so hot.

The noise from the questions kept growing louder and my frustration with my lack of ability to unscrew the bolts on wheel did too.

I was so caught up in feeling like everything was bad and trying desperately to get the bolts loose that I didn’t even notice a truck pull up behind me.

Need a hand? Was what pierced through the noise. Within minutes my roadblock was cleared, I couldn’t stop saying thank you to this stranger that stopped to help. The whole experience was over so quickly that I didn’t even get a chance to get his name.

As the rest of my day continued, I couldn’t help but think about how much I have to be thankful for. That moment was necessary for helping me redirect my focus to what was truly important.

Simply because bad things happen doesn’t mean you get to think your life is all bad. Taking time to slow down can actually help you speed things up. In each experience, the thing that matters most is how we respond to it.

Whenever I come across one of these unexpected treasures, my mind usually yells out PLOT TWIST. I tend to find hope and a renewed sense of strength to carry on by allowing myself to take a moment and appreciate the fact that I’m even able to go through whatever the experience is, that no matter how bad the current experience may be, I have a whole lot more to be thankful for.

It can be tough to be happy in the midst of a storm but imagine just how much stronger you’ll be once you get through it.

The phoenix in each of us

We all fight our own unique battles. Each one challenging us to become better, to be stronger.

Yet, even with the best outlook towards things, there are times when things will still fall apart. These things can come in the form of depression, discouragement from others, or even self-doubt.

What we don’t see is the fire burning inside, the one that drives us onward and upward no matter how tough the path may be. Our will to succeed, to improve the world around us and to stand for what’s right.

It’s the fire that rebuilds and rises from the ashes of the pain, disappointment, betrayal and empty promises and guides us to discovering our creative power and the limitless possibilities for creating more good that this discovery brings to our lives.

Sure, you may not currently be in the ideal place in life you’d be, but you are exactly where your story needs to be and it’s a place you won’t always be unless you choose to not continue moving forward.

The straw may have broken you yesterday but only to allow you to be even stronger today.

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