Standing Strong

Today I want to remind ourselves to stand strong during difficult times.  This is such an important life skill that kids as well as us adults, need to ensure that we understand the qualities described herein. It applies when we’re learning something new, like the Yoga pose in this photo, or if you are recovering from an illness.  We know that what we tell ourselves is what happens.  As I write this, I am recovering from knee replacement surgery.  The pain is still a major factor, and it would be easy to just slip into the “poor me” syndrome.  As I do the stretches and exercises to strengthen my new knee, I tell myself that my body likes to be stretched, that stretching will bring less pain as my muscles align and become stronger.  It is when we have hard choices that life seems to come in the back door and clobber us sometimes.

As a high school band director for many years directing a competitive high school program, I like to remind my students that you can’t run from everything that is hard in life and then expect to reach your goals.  There are aspects to life that just require us to buckle down and continue the trudge uphill toward our victory.  When I speak to youth and adults, I remind them by showing my arms outreached in a diagonal line and I tell them, “It is all uphill.”  So often we give kids, who become adults, the impression that there are shortcuts, or that somehow they can skip the difficult, challenging stuff and still get to where they are going.  Remain in your image or success, stay with your victory celebration in your mind’s eye.  Push yourself to the day when you walk without pain.  I totally expect a full recovery and see myself doing things that I cannot do right now, but it takes personal effort.

Look at the woman in this photo.  How many times do you think she tried and tried to that Yoga post and was unsuccessful?  How many times did she fall over?  What are the smaller poses within this pose that she had to learn and master before she could even attempt this?  We must fight the good fight of faith that we will be guided, that a victory is in our future.  I am a faith-based person, so if this doesn’t fit with your beliefs, you can skip it.  I believe that God doesn’t waste anything that we’re going through.  No experience, no challenge, no difficulties nothing is just a plain old set-back.  It all leads to our goal or achieving a fully conscious being.  You are being prepared for the opportunities that are coming, for the bigger more challenging positions that you aren’t even aware of yet.

When we take time to think like this, rather than being discouraged, frustrated with the progress, overcome with the pain, or just feel like quitting, that is when we’re near a victory.  I really believe this and have seen it come true in my own life many times.  Just when we are beginning to feel like, “Well, maybe I understood this wrong, maybe this goal was too big, maybe I won’t recover fully.”  That is when you want to dig deeper, remind yourself of your vision and push forward to victory.  Eventually, you will be able to do a pose (metaphorically) like this woman.  Determination and perseverance will be the keys.

Yours for a Better Life,