What we can handle

I had a conversation this past week with an associate I’ve known for years. He and I have worked together in some capacity for over a decade though we’ve never really talked outside of the professional arena.

We went on a team-building exercise to an escape room, where everyone has to work together to collect clues and solve puzzles to unlock the room’s door.

There was also a zombie in the room – yes, a zombie – simultaneously terrifying and distracting us while we tried to dismantle the pieces and not pee our pants.

We succeeded in our escape with seven minutes to spare by using a combination of hopping from corner to corner, screaming in fear, and at one point I was singing and dancing in an attempt to distract our zombie while other, smarter, team members unlocked clues to our freedom.

After we recovered, we decided to grab a drink before retiring for the night. My colleague and I ended up discussing our children over a beer at the bar. He has been very supportive of me professionally since the loss of my son, and has an empathy most others cannot offer.

He too parents a special needs son, and at one point said to me that he believes we are only given what we can handle. This was only after he humbly described in great detail the challenges he faces daily, while never once complaining. And I could see with every breath the love, admiration, and absolute awe he felt for his child.

In the middle of my tears, I told him, ‘I call bullshit on that theory.’

I don’t believe we are only given what we can handle. He is just a kick-ass dad with an amazing kid who appreciates the blessings this life gives.

We are all faced with challenges, some tougher than others. Some tackle those challenges with grace and dignity. Some whine and complain and make it harder than it needs to be. And some just keep getting crapped on no matter how much good they offer this world.

But I am a firm believer that we get out what we put in. If we live in love and light, love and light will find us. If we believe we can handle what we are given, then we absolutely can.

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