In the last blog, we addressed each of us fitting in and having a place in the world. However, we didn’t adequately address the harshness of the world when you are working toward the task.
One of today’s most popular series is Game of Thrones. My favorite theme is of social outcasts finding their way into power; women, eunuchs, illegitimate sons, a little person, and slaves to name a few. Each character overcame great odds, pain, and suffering to find such a place.
Examine the life of Tyrion, an outcast, a little person, perceived as having no value by his father, sister, or any other wealthy or physically powerful person of the day. He learned after almost being killed in battle and gaining a vicious scar on his face in the process, that he would never become a cunning warrior. He knew he would never match up in physical prowess to the competition.
His greatest strength was his knowledge and the ability to drink the mightiest person under the table. His infamous line affirms this truth, “That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” Tyrion knew his place.
In a world that wanted to cast him aside, even end his life, he found a place to fit in. Yet even though life was hard, he thrived. He had to reimagine his place in the world. He wouldn’t be a great warrior, but he would be a great thinker. He would become the hand of the queen.
In the midst of great suffering, Tyrion remained resilient and hopeful.
Sansa reimagined her place after a tortured existence, as well. She desired marriage to a great king and knights competing for her honor. Although she married a king, she received no such honor. Instead, honor was stolen from her over and over.
However, she fought, learned, escaped, and stood for her humanity. Eventually, she finds a different honor and a new place at Winterfell.
In the midst of great suffering, Sansa remained resilient and hopeful.
And what about Jon Snow? How often did he reimagine his place? He came to terms with being the illegitimate son of Ned Stark instead of his true son. He thought he’d be a knight in the Night’s Watch and instead he was a ward. Over and over, his identity was redefined for him, until he eventually discovered he was an heir to the throne. He was no bastard at all. Jon overcame trial after punishment after pain. He was even murdered by his “friends.”
In the midst of great suffering, Jon remained resilient and hopeful.
RESILIENCY AND HOPE
The world works hard to destroy people and their abilities to find themselves. In my years working with people, I’ve heard many awful stories of pain and suffering. However, the most resilient and hope-filled people are the ones who find their place and discover peace. They look for anything positive and hope that something good will come to pass and improve their lot in life.
Resiliency triumphs over suffering at the world’s hands and is the key to finding your place. It helps one learn from failure and suffering. Hope is believing that something good can come out of even the worst situation. Resiliency and hope reshape dreams, recast vision, and work hard to find the slightest bit of positivity in the worst situation.
You may not become Heir to the Throne, Hand of the Queen, or Lady of the North, but perhaps you can learn from your pain and suffering. Perhaps you reshape your lot in life without sacrificing your true self. It is through our failures and our toughest moments of pain and suffering in life that we find strength, character, and identity. Just ask Sansa.
In the last episode, The Hound told her she, the “little bird,” should have left King’s Landing with him, insinuating she would have avoided the pain and suffering. She responded, “Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would’ve stayed a little bird all my life.”
May we all be more than little birds as we move through our pain and suffering. Don’t give up.