In 2017, at the age of 15, a Nephrotic Syndrome misdiagnosis pushed Elias Michan to practice stoicism as a source of solace. As a teenager, he wanted to answer the simple question:
Why are my peers and I struggling so much more than previous generations?
While battling his own demons, Michan embarked on a quest to see why his generation seemed so plagued by anxiety, depression, drug use and suicide.
Although he didn't know it at the time, Michan's nephrotic syndrome scare would bring him to meditate, practice stoicism, and ponder life's greatest questions in order to find meaning in light of his suffering. Once he was cleared of this condition, Michan became armed with the mental tools to deal with life's more trivial aspects.
For a time, homework, social anxiety, and traffic could not phase his inner peace, for death had just smiled at him. Michan felt a glimpse of true liberation. However, before he knew it, he had built a false identity again, feeling superior to others around him for having seen this glimpse of liberation. He still practiced stoicism and meditation, but on a more superficial level. This new sense of freedom faded away and began to evade him.
Michan developed severe depression due to a medication he was taking. Days became endless, the world turned gray, and Michan lost interest in many of his favorite activities. He stopped taking the medicine and luckily the depression subsided, but Michan was still left with severe anxiety and trauma.
Michan began meditating daily and reading The Power of Now in order to get his life back together, and slowly but surely dissolved the trauma day by day. Soon, he became aware of a higher power and began to strive to live his life with utter humility, purity, and kindness. He came to a realization that if it weren't for his suffering, he would have never been pushed to discover this higher power.
There's a saying that if you see a butterfly struggling to claw itself out of its cocoon, that you should never break it open. Its weakness is its power. If you leave the butterfly to develop its strength, it'll be able to withstand even the harshest rains.
Michan invites the reader to consider that we are that butterfly. The suffocating cocoon is our biggest setback. The rain is the trivial daily suffering that permeates the lives of privileged individuals.
Weakness is Power is an exploration of a teenager's own revelations on his journey of meditation, suffering and growth.