The other day someone intimated that I should take on a task that seemed over-the-top burdensome to me. My initial reaction was I'm already past my limit! I can't do that! But because of the circumstances, I didn't say much beyond an incredulous, "What?!?"
My inner crowd of naysaying protesters is a rowdy bunch, and has been known to chant nonstop. Sometimes they shout so loudly it's hard to notice the tiny voice in an obscure corner of my head that whispers, "Yes, you can. You can do that." Since I often don't want to listen to that quiet voice, it's usually easy to ignore.
In this case, the task in question was something that truly needed to be done. And I was, in fact, the person for the job. So I listened to the tiny voice, sighed, and tried not to think too much about it.
This morning I got up and did the task. I didn't like it, didn't like doing it, didn't like having to do it. But it wasn't impossible. It was just another thing on my list.
We are stronger than we think we are. We can do things, and handle things, that are bigger than we assume we can manage. I just finished reading Half the Sky, and if you haven't read the book, do. It will pop you out of your usual grudges about life. It will make you realize that many of the things that weigh you down are specks of dust when viewed from a different perspective. Or maybe not: we sometimes carry genuine burdens, and at those times it helps to be able to say, honestly, without self-pity, "This is a hard thing, and I am living through a hard time."
Living through it is easier when we listen to that little voice, though.The one that says, "Yes, you can."