Pain? I trained for this!
Undeniably, life is comprised of good times…..and painful moments. No person will make it out unscathed. Many people say that we can define ourselves by how we respond to pain rather than how we react to it. However, I wonder if people think of pain in terms of preparation. Have you ever realized how much easier it can be to get through something if you have evidence that you have overcome something difficult before? I am not suggesting that we live in fear, that we over analyze the future, or that we become hyper vigilant. I am also not saying that we stand at the door and wait for painful moments, because, more than likely, all of these behaviors will lead us to catastrophe. Nevertheless, the saying goes that “if we don’t plan, we plan to fail.”
I write today to encourage you, and to say that as humans we were built, by design, to overcome tough times. Our own body shows us that beneath the weight of things, we grow. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “If we want the muscle to grow, we must shock the muscle (Arnold’s voice).”
Have you ever been shocked by pain? By the loss of a loved one? By betrayal? Have you ever felt like your life was out of control? That the thought of tomorrow was unbearable in light of what you are facing? Have you thought these things and then refused to tell anyone? Is it because you want to be strong? Because you don’t want to burden others, with what you perceive, as weakness? Well, what if I told you that not speaking up for yourself was letting the bully of the mind take over. That those self-defeating thoughts can’t continue to grow in the light, but just like mold, they spread in darkness.
The best thing about preparation is that it takes practice in opening up and stepping up for yourself. This is where change and growth begin-realizing that you are worth it and that your voice, and feelings, do matter! You have to matter for yourself first, more than you mattering to any one else. If you are bleeding, I can sympathize but I can’t feel your pain for you-no one can.
On the outside we can appear to have it all together: the perfect clothes, the nicest car, money – and yet, on the inside those things don’t scratch the surface of pain felt far beneath. Why is it that our mental, physical and spiritual health can become an after-thought while everything else around us can become so time consuming? I don’t know about you, but our biggest enemy at the moment is distraction. We may want to be the “good guy” so we put others before ourselves, or the dishes need to get done, the laundry needs to be folded, etc. we get tied up in so many other tasks and then one day, boom, life hits us like a ton of bricks.
I encourage you to live in preparation today, to become the better version of yourself that you have always wanted. Then, when you come up against unexpected challenges you can say, “I trained for this." Take note that psychology today, the American Psychological Association and The World Health Organization all state that exercise improves mental health and reduces the likelihood of medical health symptoms and complications. Exercise promotes heart and gastrointestinal health. Some research and articles have also shown that regular exercise correlates with high performance and good work ethic. So wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that if we took better care of our bodies, our minds would benefit? Then in turn, our resiliency to face challenges in life would increase. In some way or another, we know the benefits make sense, now it’s time to get started!