To-day in yoga class the girl next to me had a very large and slightly unseemly tattoo on her ankle of a phrase both succinct and wise: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Who You Are.

This statement struck a deep and harmonious chord inside of me, because I think we are told far too often that What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, which I feel is a cheap way of sugar-coating hardship and ignoring it for face value. While a lot of times what doesn’t kill us does indeed strengthen us, if not physically, then at least in some mental way, it would be a blanket statement to hold this as a universal maxim. Sometimes what doesn’t kill us really does weaken us. Sometimes it cripples us, sometimes it blinds us, and sometimes it even breaks us.

To learn and grow from trying times is not necessarily the direct function of the difficulty itself. While there definitely benefit in thinking positive, let’s not confuse cause with correlation.

But what doesn’t kill us most certainly molds us into who we are, unto death, for better, or for worse.


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