In comparing wounded souls to disfigured wire in my blog “Apology”, I started to wonder how wire is made. So I did a little research. I found that some wire is made by pulling metal through dies, and heat is used on some to make it more pliable for use.
This makes me think of the process we humans experience as we grow up and learn to cope with situations we encounter. We may sometimes feel we are being pulled through a die and stretched to the breaking point. We are stretched when we are forced to do things that are new to us, things we are not good at, or things we don’t like to do. We are stretched when we have to deal with people with opposite personalities or people who just rub us the wrong way.
When we are being stretched, we can choose to embrace the discomfort, or we can rebel against the pain. When we embrace the stretching, we may get stretch marks, but we learn and grow. That is a good thing. When we struggle against the stretching process, sometimes we have to go through a heat process to make us more pliable.
Being placed in the furnace can be hard to endure and may sometimes take more time than just being stretched. Learning forgiveness is a good example of this. More than once, I have been guilty of struggling with forgiving someone who wronged me (at least in my perception). I know that I have to forgive in order to be freed from anger and bitterness, but forgiveness is often hard. At times stretching wasn’t enough, and I had to go through the heat of guilt to make me pliable so that I could forgive.
Another thing about wire is the wide variety, just like the diversity of human personalities. There are many types of wires, such as solid, stranded and braided wire. Some wires are braided together, a process which increases the strength of the wire. When we find others who are going the same direction and the same speed as we are, we can sometimes band together to become stronger. We can encourage and help each other so that when we encounter problems, we are there for each other. Friends and family are the best when it comes to helping us through times of stretching and through the furnace.
According to www.wigjig.com, hardening techniques are used to make wires stronger when making jewelry. These techniques include hammering, which makes the wire stronger and stiffer. This is called work hardening wire. When the wire is hammered correctly, it becomes stronger and more resistant to breakage. The pressure on some types of bracelets and necklaces can cause a weak wire to break, so the wire has to be work hardened to prevent damage.
There are times I have felt like I was being hammered, but usually those hammerings have made me stronger. When I went through difficult problems in my life, people have said to me, “You are such a strong woman.” It’s true, I have been made stronger by going through hard things, but I am no stronger than any other person going through things. Truth is, what choice do I have? I can withstand the hard times, or I can have a breakdown, or commit suicide. Most people go through, not because they are strong, but because alternatives aren’t so great. We just do what we have to do.
I understand that I am today what I have become during those times of stretching, hammering, and smoldering. I am thankful for those processes because I am a stronger and better person. I hope my character is more attractive as I have matured through the pressures of life.