Invictus- a poem written by William Ernest Henley, is the latin word for "Unconquered".
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
To me, these words are a reminder, that I am not the only one who struggles through dark and tumultuous times. We all have hardships, whether that be our outer reality or a struggle with our inner emotional landscape, or both. The poem's author Henley wrote this at a time when he was suffering through immense pain, he had already endured an impoverished childhood and had his leg amputated due to complications from tuberculosis.
Nelson Mandela drew inspiration from this poem while serving his 27 years in prison at a time when there was almost no hope for a brighter future, he read it to his fellow political prisoners.
When life gets tough, I remind myself that even during the darkest and most difficult of times, there is still an unyielding opportunity for someone to achieve self mastery. That there remains regardless a small part of our souls and our minds that does not need to be overwhelmed or tainted by life's hardships. That in all of us, no matter how difficult our experiences, have a part of ourselves that can remain "unconquered"- that can remain Invictus.
A Moodscope member.
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