“Don’t Quit” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier: Classics

We all have those times in life where struggles pile on top of struggles, bad on top of bad, setbacks on top of setbacks. When this happens, we oftentimes declare that we will never give up and never surrender yet there always comes a point where we feel that we can go on no longer.

I don’t think I’m the only person who at times finds myself in a place where I feel like I am not at the end of my rope and not even holding onto the knot I tied to the end of it either, but rather that I’m hanging onto the frayed ends of the rope someplace below the knot and feeling very much like I cannot hang on much longer.

Life’s a struggle sometimes.

There are days where getting out of bed, eating, or simply taking a shower feels like too much.

There are times when the hopelessness, the unbearable darkness, or the unrelenting toxicity of a situation seems to have no end or seems to be so great it isn’t worth seeking hope, light, or health and happiness.

There are moments when you feel like you’ve gone as far as you can go and that even one more step will destroy you.

I have felt like that recently a lot more than I care to admit. I’ve been fighting to survive for so long and frankly, I’m tired of fighting. I know people always say to those who, like me, are struggling with these feelings:

If you have friends and family, you’re never alone.

I am sorry, but if the son of God cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?!” and scolded his friends for not being there for him, then I am bewildered why mere mortals such as myself are held to a higher standard in our times of struggle.

Life is fucking hard sometimes and there are days when your heart is so broken it feels like it is breaking for real…

When breathing seems too difficult…

When even being awake feels like a pointless act…

And when the hopes and dreams and desires seem so far away that it isn’t even worth it to try to escape from the pit of despair that you’re in that you’re willing to resign yourself to a life of unfulfillment and unhappiness.

I know. I’ve been there so often and have had to claw my way out of there again and again.

When life is like this, it’s important to take stock of things and remember it’s okay to feel all those feelings, to need to take time to reconnect with yourself, to take a step back and readjust your priorities and decision making sometimes, just as long as you do not quit.

Do not quit moving forward.

Do not quit fighting for your happiness and health.

Do not quit relentlessly and audaciously pursuing your dreams and desires.

Do not quit.

Don’t Quit

By John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Originally published 19 November 2019.

Copyright 2019, Gwendolyn Raczkowski. All rights reserved.

17 thoughts on ““Don’t Quit” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier: Classics

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  1. I have been told some wise words. When you feel like breaking and crying every tear in the ocean, do so. Whether it is in a room of people or by yourself in the shower, cry if the tears are there. Your road is different than mine although we may walk side by side, our hearts and minds are in different places. Our hurts may never go away totally. Get less painful is what I’m told. When? I don’t know. I firmly believe that a broken heart is broken into many pieces and may take us a long time to glue back together even part way. I am thankful for the sunny days after the dark. All I can do is give send a hug, which in itself will bring tears. Than hug again to let you know that I truly understand and cry with you. 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes people forget you need the savory and salty and rotten bits of life to be able to appreciate the sweet ones to their fullest!

        Like a plate of charcuterie of life…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I decided to go back and reread myself and I realized I’ve been laying a path for myself to follow for a long time.

      Then I realized that if I needed to read something again because it was poignant, than it must be poignant for others.

      Don’t you quit ever, Kim! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you re sent this one. It’s a good look back. Our roads may have turned into foot paths, but most days it’s able to be faintly seen. Some days are all tears and broken hearts. Thankfully we also have some that have spring flowers and sunshine. We all will make it to our next point before falling again and picking ourselves up once more. To you and all your followers, may this be a day of flowers and sunshine. Always my love, Auntie Joan 🌹🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

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