Life sometimes hurts. Relationships are in turmoil, parenting is rough, work can be difficult, and your muscles can ache. This is the human condition. So what do you do when things get difficult?
Pain Will Come
I ran a half marathon a few days ago. At mile 11 my legs started to hurt and I was tired of running. This was my 9th running event so the pain was not unfamiliar. Fortunately, I also knew that it would subside once the race was over and the good feelings of accomplishment would flood in. But, what was I to do now? It hurts, so what are you going to do about it?
Make a Choice
I realized that if I let my body talk to me, I would slow down or walk. Instead of giving into the physical pain, I realized that my emotional disappointment would last for months. I focused on my strong legs and told myself, ‘you are capable of finishing this race. Just keep your feet moving. It is a beautiful day, you are fortunate enough to be doing this by choice.’ This was a conscious decision.
You can talk yourself into or out of just about anything. I decided to talk myself into this one. The pain was inevitable but it wasn’t going to have any long-term effects*. Pushing through the physical pain to reap the benefits of my emotional gain was worth it. On top of that, I had spent hours and hours training for the event. Why would I let all of that go to waste because of some discomfort in the present moment?
What WILL You Do?
So what do you do when the going gets tough? Do you listen to your body, your fears, your mother or do you listen to your will? What WILL you do? What WILL you accomplish? What WILL you allow to have control? What WILL you do with the fears? What logic WILL prevail? What uncertainty WILL hold you back? What WILL you gain? What WILL you lose?
Don’t Be Surprised
Don’t be surprised when your toddler throws a tantrum, your teenager lies to you, your job becomes overwhelming, your body is hungry, your muscles hurt or loss comes knocking at your door. Realize that these are all just parts of being human. Pain will come. In those moments realize that it is your choice of what you WILL do. So it hurts, . . . what are you going to say to yourself? How will you react? What do you want the outcome to be?
Here are some examples of thoughts to have when the hurt comes.
She is 2 and I am the adult. Although it is difficult to show her limits, I will do it because it is best for her in the long run.
My teenager is expressing his independence. I will continue to love, encourage, and teach him how to operate in a grown up world. Although his body looks like an adult, he still has maturing to do and I will be here to love regardless of my temporary disappointments.
This is not my best day, however, some are better than others. I will:
1. Talk to my boss about my workload
2. Give it a week to see if I feel differently or
3. Forgive myself for not doing my best today and get after it tomorrow
This loss will not destroy me. It hurts a great deal now and I will walk through my grief a step at a time. I will reach out and get support from those who love me.
My muscles hurt and this is the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself. I am following a program and it will help me to accomplish my goals.
I am going to take one step today to address my pain which is not giving into it. I will make it. I will.
Come up with your own empowering thoughts to handle the discomfort of hurt and pain. Challenge giving into it and understand that positive thoughts can reframe any situation into one you are more capable of dealing with.
Life sometimes hurts.
*I was experiencing soreness, not injury. I have enough running experience to know the difference.