Growing up, my dad introduced me to a song by Mary Chapin Carpenter called “The Bug.” Over the years, my family and I still occasionally quote a line from the chorus that says, “sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” Although I’m sure you get the analogy, the song suggests that sometimes life all comes together for you and other times, you are hit with difficulty and strife. We all most definitely get our turn at being the “bug” and as of late, I have certainly felt that is the case for me….at least in one aspect of my life.
As a result, the word “endurance” has been much on my mind as well as how to endure gracefully. I’ve thought about those opportunities I have willingly chosen to endure and although this is not one of those times, there are lessons to be learned (and more importantly applied) from those moments.
So whether your current life circumstances place you in the category of the “windshield” or the “bug,” here are a few thoughts to help you get by when things get hard.
· “No pain, no gain.” We’ve all heard this expression and although I admit, it’s a bit cliché, there is truth in it. If life were always easy breezy, not only would we get bored but we wouldn’t grow as human beings. In order for us to become the very best version of ourselves, it’s crucial that challenges occur. Once we focus on what we can gain from the difficulty and create a shift in our perspective, the “enduring” becomes much easier to manage. To make my point, I have an example, albeit a bit silly one.
For the last 2 months, I have been following a workout program that is challenging. There are days that the workout is particularly difficult and long (this is one of those things that I choose to endure) and I have 1 of 2 choices to make. When my legs are shaking and my muscles are burning, I can either focus on the pain and be miserable in it (which will lead me to quit) or I can focus on the transformation that is taking place giving me the strength to push just a little bit harder. I’ve learned time and time again that we are stronger than we think. There may be opposition in all things but we can always find the positive in our situation.
· “This too shall pass.” Fortunately, most things we experience don’t last forever and although it can feel long and arduous while in the middle of it, you may be able to find some peace knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel. If in the meantime, you are feeling a bit impatient or frustrated, chances are it’s due to a lack of control you have in fixing it. Remember, in life 10% is what happens to you and the other 90% is how you react to it. Therefore, I encourage you to look at how you have overcome previous obstacles and barriers and implement those lessons in coming up with a game plan. Find your super powers (AKA strengths), reach out to your support system and remind yourself of those things you love and that give you energy (self-care).
· Rise above it. Did you know that the crow is one of the eagle’s biggest pests? The crow’s behavior is called “mobbing” and it can include loud squawking, dive bombing and flying around the eagle in order to obtain food. It isn’t until the eagle spreads his 6 ft wing span and rises to an elevation where the crow can no longer breathe that he can rid himself of the nuisance. Like the eagle, it is important that we too lift ourselves up and rise above the tribulation. This can be symbolic, such as looking to a higher power for comfort and guidance. It could also be quite literal by making some very simple adjustments in your physical demeanor (standing a little taller, placing a smile on your face, looking/reaching towards the sky, placing your shoulders back, etc). Although the effort is small, this creates an instant change in your mood and energy giving you the strength to keep moving forward. Spread your wings, recognize who you truly are knowing you are worthy and capable of rising above any tribulation you are faced with.
Well, that is all for now! As always, if you would like to talk more about what you might be enduring or have any tips/tricks in enduring gracefully, I would love to hear from you. And of course, please feel free to pass this along to anyone else who may benefit.
Until next time,