Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and was told by my diagnosing doctor I would need to discontinue running and all the weight-bearing exercises I was doing.
At the time, these were two of my core workouts.
I utilized running as my self-described therapy and “me” time. I felt like that was being taken away from me and I was angry and DEFINITELY feeling sorry for myself!
My doctor suggested swimming or tai-chi as alternative exercises…(insert eye roll here!)
First of all, I had never learned how to breathe while swimming (picture a variation of a doggy paddle and freestyle and that is what I look like swimming).
Tai-chi felt like an “old man’s activity” in my mind. I was WAY too cool for that…Yes, I was being VERY judge-y!
To help me through this, several of my friends I had just moved away from sent this amazing care package for me with everything I would need to start swimming.
In the package, they included a card that said-“Choose Your Hard”
This helped me shift my perspective and realize that there was always going to be something hard to face in life.
This experience, looking back, has been one of the most impactful of my life.
Instead of being able to “run off” my emotions, I had to learn to feel them and express them appropriately.
Instead of hiding what I was thinking and feeling, I had to learn to face those thoughts and emotions.
I frequently think of this quote now, and it is a guide for me when I am getting discouraged.
You see, there is ALWAYS going to be something hard in life.
It is hard to stay where you are and it is hard to make a change to do something different in life.
It is hard to be single and it is hard to be in a relationship.
It is hard to be a parent and it is hard to wait to become one.
It is hard to stand up for what you believe and it is hard to be silent about them when others have contradictory ones.
It is hard to live close to family and it is hard to live far away from them.
It is hard to own your own home and it is hard to pay to live in someone else’s home.
It is hard to live in denial and it is hard to accept your truths.
And this list can go on and on and on.
The point is that there are, even among each of these hard things, things that are also wonderful and amazing.
No experience is completely full of hard or empty of it. No experience is completely full of joy or completely without it.
There is always going to be something to celebrate, something to struggle with, and something to embrace in your life.
The beauty in all of this is that you get to choose what you see.
If you are looking for how things are hard, you will find it.
If you are looking for how they are joyful, you will find it.
If you are looking for how to learn and grow, you will find it.
What will you find today?