What is Your Breaking Point?


I saw a television commercial the other day.  As is often the case, I have no idea what they were advertising.  I would think good advertising would lead you to remember the product, but for people like me, we get caught up in other things—the people, the background, the slogans, etc.

Well, in this particular commercial it was the slogan . . .

“Find your breaking point and then break it.”

A couple of things ran through my mind.

First, if I am at my breaking point, isn’t the point that I can’t go any further? 

But then, my follow-up thought was the one I am sure they were going for.

Go beyond what you think you can do.  This definitely works for exercise.  When your brain tells you that you are done because (most of the time) you are just bored, you really can go longer, farther or faster.

So what about life?  Does “Find your breaking point and then break it” work for life in general?

It’s a bad motto for workaholics because it will make them push themselves farther than they should be reasonably going.

It’s a bad motto for people with addictive personalities who may have self-discipline or control issues.

It’s a bad motto for perfectionists who will just keep going and going and going.

But for those who feel like giving up, doing less than they are able, or simply need some motivation, it’s not so bad.

Your breaking point is the place where you think the party’s over—but it doesn’t have to be.  If we put in the extra effort and keep going, often we can accomplish more than we think we can.

In Church-world language, when you hit your breaking point, we know we have the grace of God and Divine help to sustain us.  It is easy to feel lost and maybe even experience a sense of despair when that breaking point is a serious one that we are fast approaching, especially if we don’t know God.

When we pray the Rosary, there are three beads at the beginning on which we pray the Hail Mary.  On each of those first three beads, we reflect on faith, hope and charity (love).

I always love this part of the rosary because asking for those virtues, or an increase in them, is so comforting when our prayer comes with confidence in the Blessed Mother.

When you, personally, cannot be present to a loved one, or when you cannot “fix” whatever is going on, or when you feel that you are at your breaking point, give your cares to Mary, for just like you who desperately loves your own children, she too, loves hers – us!

Janet Cassidy



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