The key to anything is:
Feel like crap and do it anyway, and
Do it afraid.
As a kid, a student, an athlete, and Airman in the USAF, a wife, and a mom, I have learned – the hard way – that no matter how much I don’t “feel” like doing something, I need to follow through and do it, taking all things into consideration, of course. Balance is key. In General, if we wait until we “feel” like doing something, what will we actually really do in a day? We’d stay in our PJ’s, eat chocolate covered doughnuts and binge watch Net Flix – not exactly #lifechanging activities for ourselves or anyone else.
Doing it afraid is essential as well because Fear seems to hang out in my mind, on my left shoulder, in the room, and like a typical bully - IN FRONT of any opportunity that presents itself to me. Therefore, doing it afraid is as important as feeling like crap and doing it anyway.
I decided to write on this topic three weeks ago at which time it seems that all things came crashing down on my head as well as on the heads of my family members. “Fitting,” I thought. Then, I realized that the “Fitting”, comment revealed my terrible attitude. I had to quickly decide if I was going to give into catastrophic, negative thinking like, “Things happen in three’s, after all!” or, “That figures; it’s Murphy’s Law!” So, in a very military way, I decided that this type of thinking had no place in my life at large or my current circumstances, in general. Besides, I hope we have all figure out by now that “Murphy” is not our biggest fan.
Besides, about fifteen years ago, I learned a valuable principle. I observed in my life as well as the lives of others, that every time things came crashing down, it was evidence that new territory, new opportunities, new profound insights, and new breakthroughs were on the verge of occurring. And, in the larger spiritual and physical realm of things, these new horrible things were, in part, sent to distract me from my blessings. Even if, the “only” blessing I would miss was the ability to be present in my life and enjoy the people I loved. There’s never just one blessing at stake though, so I will continue…
My job was to stand firm with my head up and my shoulders back, and yes, my feet firmly braced to help my leg muscles and my psychological muscle withstand the impact. Withstand the impact of what you ask? The impact of the reality of the situation (pipes bursting, floods, car wrecks and insurance companies, unprofessional & disrespectful behavior at work, politics in the family, and at church, for example). These things exist. We can’t ignore them, but we don’t have to let them dictate our mindset. In fact, at the tail end of my “three things”, which would make this four, which would mean that three thing isn’t true. Or, it’s true, and I had now received my first of the new three horrible things that were going to happen to me – again!!! See how quickly or run away mind and our emotions deceive us?
Let’s get back on track. I also took the things that had recently “fallen on my head” as confirmation that this would be an excellent topic to touch on, and it was the topic I was destined to write about. I write about things in real-time. Real-time is of great value to a writer and speaker. If I engage in real-time, the authenticity of my emotions, especially the feeling like crap and fearful vulnerability of where I am and what I’m dealing with, can shine through. So, as a front lines writer, reporting on the battles and victories of my life, I could not let this opportunity pass me by.
After all, I had decades of evidence that the key to anything is:
1. Feel like crap and do it anyway, and
2. Do it afraid.
And, these two factors worked when applied to anything from overcoming trauma, disappointments, earning a college degree, writing a book, or normal day to day challenges. The thing that I did not account for, however, is that I’d have the unfortunate - or should I say “fortunate” (now, let’s not get carried away with optimism)- opportunity to experience even more evidence that when I feel like crap, I need to do it anyway. I also need to do it afraid because, apparently, fear is my new side-kick. It thinks we are on a mission to save the world, leaping from building to building, except every time I leap, Fear tries to trip me then laughs at me – he’s a nuisance to say the least.
During all my painful experiences over the past few weeks, I wrote a deep poem called “Making Peace with the Death of “Happiness” – but it’s pretty intense. I’ll save it for God & Coffee VI.
But, before you get overly concerned about my mental state, I’ll tell you that the message of that intense poem is that if happiness is based on merely what happens to us, we can never be happy. We must first define happiness in a realistic way and then accept that trying to merely be happy in life, causes us to miss many profound and wonderful things. For me, a beautiful, worthwhile life, is about loving deeply, giving to others, and responding to what “happens” to us, in us, and through us…. with authentic courage.
For, now, as I highlight poems from my first book, God & Coffee: in that order I, with enough prayer and caffeine anything is possible, I think the poem The Boxing Ring is a fitting end to this week’s blog.
The Boxing Ring
The Boxing Ring
Had no mercy
The rails were hard rubber
The floor disgustingly hard
The opponent means as a bull
My heart ached and outward it pulled
The shin splints within my legs
Seemed to scream out loud
As if to say
“This ring exists to torture the soul
Of anyone who tries to conquer
The opponent’s throws!”
And so if you dare to take the challenge
And dance and swing punches
While sweat drips off your brow
God ahead, but the “The Ring of Life”
Is stronger somehow
So unless you have God as your agent
Stay in your garage and box
Where you’ll be safe for now
But, in my experience,
Get some God & Coffee and have a great week, despite the things that currently look like a defeat.
Feeling Like Crap and Feeling Afraid but dong it anyway,