I had four older brothers. I am the youngest in the family of seven.
My youngest older brother was a big meany. He was six years older and twice as big and strong.
When he was bored, he delighted in picking on me in an effort to make me cry, or get angry, or both. I learned how to cope through the years and came to realize that, for all of his teasing, he loved me and would do his best to keep others from harming me.
Maybe, he just thought that, if anyone was going to be mean to me, it would be him.
He was in the military, so he would use some of his tactics on me. I was at a disadvantage, but it didn't take me long to learn the same tactics.
Because of him, I learned that I could not expect life to always be fun and games--or even positive--and that I needed to be tough.
I can't say that I have needed to protect myself from physical harm, but I have learned to avoid places and circumstances where they could occur.
All people have trauma in their lives and I have not been spared. Through the years, I have been through financial challenges, health challenges and emotional challenges--both mine and those of family members. I have dealt with the death of loved ones.
At the time, some of these challenges seem to be unbearable, but, when they have been conquered, a person may have learned new ways of coping and are feeling stronger for having been through them.
When I'm sick, I feel like I'm going to die, but when I've recovered, I feel as though the malady was a piece of cake.
My mother used to say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
A pastor once told me, "How can you know you're on the mountain top if you've never been in the valley?"
Perhaps, when we're going through a life challenge, it would be a good idea to consider it one more step to a stronger, healthier and brighter future.
Because we can't see the end of the trial doesn't mean the middle isn't taking us there.
Because you can't yet see the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't mean it's not there.
Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.