Life. Is. Hard.
But without the hard times, the good times wouldn’t be so sweet. And without the struggle, our strength may never be realized.
I’m going to lay down some truth for you here. To create change…real, transformative change in our lives, we need tension.
Like a bow needs tension to propel an arrow forward, we need tension (i.e. trials) to propel us forward. The greater the tension, the greater the force behind the arrow. The arrow moves forward with so much force it can shoot deep into the heart of the target. Tension is often the catalyst we need to make a change or to realize our own strength and power. Trials are required for transformation.
Enter chaos. AKA Life challenges. Sometimes life hits you...hard. It could be an illness, injury, family crisis, divorce, death, or a loved one’s addiction or mental illness. One thing certain in life is struggle. We all face pain and we all develop scars. I don’t say this to be a Debbie Downer. It is just a fact. Life is hard. The struggle is real….no really, it is.
Everyone’s path and journey looks different…some tension-creating situations aren’t life or death, they don’t even have to be negative. Sometimes transformational tension is created by a “normal” transition such as kids growing up and moving away or becoming a grandparent or becoming a parent. A tension-creating situation could be something as beautiful and joyful as finding our passion or purpose or discovering our why. In my life, though, it has been the molten fire of pain and sorrow, turmoil and trials that have brought about the biggest transformation and where I have become strongest.
We don’t to let our struggles define us...but maybe we should. Stay with me here. In my personal life, the times when I have learned and grown the most, have been during times of the most intense pain and struggle. It is walking through the fire that I have discovered how strong I really am. I look back and realize, I’m kind of a bad ass. Really.
I’m not saying that it’s easy for me. On the contrary actually. I have dealt with chronic anxiety that used to be almost debilitating. I have been through, and continue to go through some pretty heavy stuff. Let’s just say, I have known pain and sorrow intimately. Maybe you have too.
It is a testament to the character of humans that we find the exact amount of strength we need for each situation when we need it most. Situations we thought would literally tear us apart. Pain that is so heavy and dark and sticky and deep that we feel that we will drown…we find the strength to get through even those.
Somehow, we find the strength to get up every day. To smile. To choose joy as often as we can. To truly appreciate each moment. Being mindful that THIS moment. THIS Breath…right now is all any of us actually have. Anxiety about the future …guilt about the past. Neither serve us.
This ability to be present and mindful. This ability to SMILE and find joy isn’t just magically bestowed upon us one day by the Zen Fairy. Our yoga practice can be a healing tool. It can teach us mindfulness and to fully embrace each moment. Yes, each breath. Friend, your world might be spinning out of control but you CAN learn to calm your mind in this moment. Right. Now. You are here. You are safe. We can offer ourselves compassion and make space for our feelings and emotions without giving them our power. So come to your mat. Meet yourself where you are right at this very moment. Connect with your breath. Be present. Make space. Allow the trials to transform you. Your stronger, wiser, future self will thank you.
You see, we need those challenges…those struggles…sometimes even the pain, to help us realize our full potential. When life is dragging us back, pulling us down, remember that this is creating the tension needed to propel us closer to our target. To our stronger, wiser, more self-realized potential. You are stronger than you may think and while the struggle IS real, you have a warrior spirit brothers and sisters, and that is going to carry you through and provide what you need, exactly when you need it most.
Written by, Marci Jory MS, RYT, Owner, Thrive Yoga & Wellness