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In the sticky hot summer of 2010 I was walking up a steep dirt hill (mini mountain) in Curitibanos, Brazil. I had a headache from trying to communicate in Portuguese all day. My feet were aching more and more with every passing mile. I kept thinking, "This is all too much. I can't do it anymore." I was looking at the ground while walking to, A. make sure my feet were still attached to my body and B. to make sure I kept them attached my not stepping in a pot hole or breaking my ankle by awkwardly stepping on one of the random pebble stones.

I noticed a green leaf moving a long the ground a couple feet in front of me. At first I thought it was being carried by a light breeze- then I noticed a little ant was carrying it. The leaf was at least 100 times its size and the ant carried it like it was nothing!

If you haven't already noticed, I'm weird with analogies, so here comes another. I thought to myself, "If that little ant can carry a leaf 100 times its size avoiding the same pot holes and random pebble stones up this steep hill in the hot summer, I can carry my "leaf" that feels 100 times bigger than me." I took a picture of the ant (not the one shown, I took that from Google) carrying the leaf to remind me as small and as weak as I feel, I can carry leaves 100 times my size. Even up the steepest hills in the hottest summers. I've kept the picture close to my nightstand for years.

This last week I have been feeling a lot like I was that hot sticky day in Brazil. I have been swamped with so many different responsibilities, feelings, worries, shortcomings, etc. Our "leaves" (burdens) may be different shapes and sizes, but we're all carrying them. Whether you're carrying yours uphill or downhill it doesn't make it easier. We all have something. Like the little ant from Brazil, we are all STRONGER THAN WE THINK.

Keep fighting. You can do it.