Doing Hard Things…Again.
Life is crazy hard right now. So much going on, on so many fronts. My family. My career. The world. Life seems overwhelming to me a lot lately. Life seems to be asking me to do a lot of very hard things. And I guess the best news is that even though I do not feel capable, even though I am scared, even though it all feels like too much, I am doing it anyway.
Life never promises us that it will be easy. Somehow, I looked at other people’s lives and thought that perhaps it would be. Funny, how I looked and found people whose lives appeared to be easier than mine. I could have just as easily taken a look around and saw plenty of people whose lives are not easier than mine. Truth be told, we all just have life and sometimes it is unbearably hard, and still other times easy, breezy.
I did a very hard thing yesterday. One which I will talk about in the weeks to come. Today I am still reeling at my bravery. Today I am still holding my breath waiting for the backlash. Today I am just barely hanging on to the reality. Today I am living one second at a time because it is all I can handle.
Life is hard right now for me and for my family. Seems that all of us are being asked to deal with challenges and situations that are hard to deal with, painful, life altering. And we are all dealing, each in our own way.
Doing hard things is really just another way to say living. We all are asked daily to do things that scare us, make us fearful for our survival. How will we pay the bills? How will we support our families? How will we stay in that relationship and call it good anymore? How can we look ourselves in the mirror and not hate what is looking back? How can we engage in a relationship that has never valued us and has only sought to exploit us? How can we find the courage to leave?
Life is a series of doing one hard thing after another. Some days getting out of bed is a hard thing. Some days we do it with no thought. Other days, we have to call a friend to help us get the motivation to even pull down the covers. All of it life in progress.
I forget, I miss the fact that life, survival is hard. If I look at the animal world, I can see that most beings are out there every day surviving. I filled all my parents’ bird feeders for them yesterday. Then I sat back to watch the birds come. That is what they do all day, flit from here to there and back again, eating, drinking, flying, all just to survive the day. And that is how it is for a lot of beings on this planet. Consumed to just take care of life’s most basic tasks, just to ensure that tomorrow can be a reality.
I live so much above that fray most of the time. I am not just handling basic tasks to make it until tomorrow. Well, most of the time. Most of the time, I am thinking much deeper thoughts and making plans for the future. I am worried about relationships and their consequences in my life. I am concerned about things other than whether or not I can eat today, or how much.
Privilege has a way of making it feel like life is easy, or should be. And when my comfort level gets addressed, I am given perspective on what hard really is. I am not living in the Ukraine fighting for my life. I have plenty to eat, a safe place to sleep and family and friends that love me and support me. And it is this perspective that I conjure when I am asked in this life to do hard things. Things that I do not want to do, but have to.
It is my job to take care of myself. And often, it appears, that my ideas of what I need to do to meet that objective, fly in the face of what others might think, wish or believe. My task remains the same though. I still have to take care of myself even though other people may think badly of me, may hate me, may think that I am doing something untoward.
What I know today is that my only job is to be true to myself. To take care of myself. To be honest with myself. And what life has shown me repeatedly is that when I do that, I am ok. And so is everyone else. Eventually. There are a lot of very sick people in the world. A lot. And I can either allow their sickness to be my sickness and join them in their pathology, or I can refuse to accept their twisted ideas about reality and I can turn and walk away. What I do not have the power to do is make them see it from my perspective. I cannot do that. So I have stopped trying.
Sometimes you have to walk away from something that isn’t serving you, and is in fact hurting you, to become the next version of yourself. And while it would be lovely if everyone understood and agreed with you, that is also not real life. Sometimes, you have to have the courage to walk out on your own, trusting that what you believe and see to be more true than anything else. And it is only when you do this that hard things become easy things. Hard things are transformed into our own spiritual evolution. If we value ourselves, the people who do not and will not value us, can and will fall away.
Doing hard things is part of life. Some days it seems that it is all life has to offer. But that is not true. Hard things give us the practice to deal squarely with life’s hardships and pass through them. The only way out, is through. And while I would love for that to be different, it isn’t.
Doing hard things isn’t my favorite. But today, I know that it is also my becoming. I am here doing life, hard or easy. Life on life’s terms. And just for today, I care more about who I see in that mirror than I am worried about what others see. And I am the only one who knows what is right for me. What is true for me. And how much courage it takes to stand tall in your own beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. And to go forward in that belief even when you know that you will be vilified, you will be blamed, you will be hurt. Sometimes, it is more important to love yourself and have your own back than to accommodate someone else one more second.
And it would appear that that moment is now. So I begin Monday, afraid, scared, hurt, and terrified. But trust that Monday comes anyway, regardless of how I feel. And I hold tight to the belief and knowledge that I can do hard things…because I have done them before. So I can do this too. So I shall.