Pushing Through The Tough Stuff…
Sitting in front of my computer on Friday evening staring at a blank page with my mind filled with “stuff”, my heart heavy with the anxieties of a tough week and personal struggles that have worn me to my very core I began to replay a conversation I had with a special friend that afternoon. This friend, a mentor of sorts, and I get together every six weeks or so to dig into our thoughts, pray and nurture our spirits. What I like about these sessions is that he doesn’t give me answers to my struggles, he makes me think; actually we both think. It’s a good thing. This week has been a difficult one for my spirit and when Friday came I was tired, heavy hearted and ready to unload. As we began to share it became apparent that once again there would be no concrete answers; lots of questions and “what if’s” but no real solid answers; rather choices to be made.
Life, it seems is nothing more than a series of pushes and pulls that cause us to make decisions on whether we move forward, stay put or go back. It is really up to us how we live our lives and what we do with the time we have here on earth. At times it all gets pretty darn messy and it is at those times I want to crawl away and hide. One thing I have discovered (or should I say realized) is that running away and avoiding my problems will do nothing but prolong the agony of it all.
As I sat there on Friday sharing the events of the past few months my friend is quiet and thoughtful making a few “hmmmms” and “I see” comments allowing me to think, process and often times just be still with my thoughts. The silent moments are golden because we are both being thoughtful making sure we find the right words to express what it is that we want to share. Quite often we find ourselves relating present day life to events depicted in the Bible. Knowing that not everyone who reads my column is of the same faith as I am (or do not practice any faith at all) I still feel the need to share and relate my own self-discoveries to events and/or ideas that relate to my faith journey. Biblical history shares the incredible journey of the Israelites who longed to leave the captivity of Egypt only to find that when they finally made it out they pondered going back because life on the outside of what they had always known was scary and unfamiliar. They had a choice to make; go back, stay or travel on. As difficult as it was they decided to travel on and every now and then they found themselves at yet another difficult situation having to make that same decision; for hundreds of years. Pushing through was difficult but necessary if they wanted to reach their promised land. Pushing through was never easy for them; it’s still not easy now.
Flash forward to life today and how difficult it is to make similar decisions. For me, I found myself in a difficult situation about four years ago. For a while I chose to stay quiet and agonize alone. What happened was that the stresses of keeping it all to myself produced severe anxiety, anger and fear driven behaviors that could quite possibly ruined what I had; my family. The choice to work through the tough stuff and move forward allowing me to work through the difficult junk that was standing in my way of peace and the restoration of my spirit was difficult. One would think it would be easy to choose progress and peace over anxiety and struggle but it wasn’t. At that point in my life the anxiety had become my normal and risking my normal for the unknown was a real challenge.
Taking a leap of faith and making the decision to leave the normal behind and push through to acceptance, understanding, happiness and love was the best decision I could make for me and ultimately my family. Working through the pain of our differences has turned out to be what we needed to not only become a better family but better individuals. The tough part is that sometimes when we work toward improving our own selves we forget what those changes will do to those around us; extended family and friends. I’ve done that and unfortunately the outcome has not always been favorable. So now I find myself at yet another opportunity to decide to push through the current struggle, stay put and ignore the obstacle or retreat. Once again I choose to push through. Pushing through the rough stuff is never easy; I don’t think it’s meant to be easy. I know it’s not easy. I don’t think life is supposed to be easy. I think if it were easy without struggle, stress or strain it wouldn’t be very beneficial. Life without conflict would not allow us those “ahh haa” learning moments that we need in order to become better people and live a rich meaningful life.
To conclude my thoughts for the week I am thankful for the time I spend with my mentor and friend and his willingness to walk the journey with me (and my family). I am equally thankful for the ability to choose what it is that I want in difficult times and to recognize that those difficult times are just as important as the good. I encourage you to take a look at the challenges you face in your own life and thoughtfully consider tackling those challenges with determination to move forward instead of standing still or retreating. Life is meant to be lived fully and I believe that includes facing the rough stuff with strength and courage. In trying to put my thoughts together on Friday evening the following words flowed from my heart to my Facebook page…
“Sometimes we have to realize that there are no concrete answers….the solution lies within our willingness to push through the obstacles, face the hard stuff and journey on.”
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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