Month: June 2011

Options: Give Up or Get Up

When the going gets tough, you have a choice: Give up, or get up.

One moment life can be wonderful, and the next minute it can stink. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. There is not one person on this planet that has not had at least one “moment that sucketh”.

It’s all about experience and the give and take of nature v. nurture. There is no miracle formula, just guidelines that help us along the way.

I find it very interesting when someone asks me how I’ve managed to overcome some very difficult hardship and my answer is always: why would I want to give up? The choice is always there and whether you want to find blame, or even if there is someone at fault for the crisis, it’s ultimately your decision what to do.

Even when options may seem extremely limited, or the path dimly lit, it all falls onto the shoulders of the individual facing the issues. Support is wonderful, but it only carries you just so far. Think of support during a crisis as training wheels for a bicycle: they keep you from completely flopping onto your face, but let you experience the wobbles until you gain enough confidence to ride without them. Some need training wheels longer than others, while some never take them off.

When your day is dark, or not going the way you had planned, it’s often hard to see the big picture, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. You must call upon your Spiritual Self to lift you beyond that point, to draw hope and realistic optimism. You must also understand that the challenge, or situation is actually helping you grow stronger.

To me, giving up, is not an option. Through change,  adversity or pain, the lesson is stronger than what the immediate emotions are. The choice to ‘give up’ is purely self-defeating, which breeds negativity and lack of confidence in many aspects of life. It is also caused by fear. Fear, will only bring new problems into your life, which will compound the original issue.

When facing fear, you must be honest with yourself and acknowledge that it’s there, but not allow it to control your life. Think of it as a reminder that you have strength, and that you need to call on that strength in order to succeed. Once you grasp it, it will help you ‘get up’. That courage – taking off your training wheels to rely on yourself – is what will make you soar, even in the most trying of times. Remember how scary it was when you began to ride a bike with training wheels? You start with two training wheels, then may go down to one, and soon enough, you’re able to ride without them! You must look at the end results: riding down the road with the wind in your hair and the sun in your face, peddling your heart’s content along the path of life!

Self-pity is extremely damaging to your Spiritual Self. It is a signal you have given up. By taking part in it, you are only showing others that you cannot handle your life, or emotions, and that you lack a sense of spirituality. It is also a strong indicator that you need to nourish your Spiritual Self and examine it with brutal honesty. The more you wallow in self-pity, the longer it will take you to heal, which can drive away a healthy circle of support. I strongly caution those who are in funk of self-pity because sooner or later, someone is going to yank your training wheels off and you are going to find yourself licking more wounds from that action alone, in addition to the problems that initially caused your pity party.

By embracing the fact that one day, you will more than likely find yourself on the receiving end of one of life’s curve balls, you will learn and heal – as well as become a teacher. Learning to heal is something that can only come from deep within your soul, by grasping your personal spirituality and having the confidence to let it (your spirituality) rise to the challenge. The act of self-reliance relative to spirituality is a learning and teaching experience. As time goes on, the more that you rely on your spirituality to get you through the hard times, the more adept you will become to make it a daily part of your life. Through those times you will eventually have the tools to help others.

Rising for the challenge is always better than being pushed over, or giving up. Life challenges build character and feeds your Spiritual Self but you must first observe all of life’s imperfections and search for both the obvious and hidden messages. That reflection will create an awareness that will help you see the big picture, instead of the little pinhole that you may be looking through.

There is a tremendous amount of truth to the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Pick and choose your battles but never, ever give up. You do have a choice, even if you don’t realize it. It may mean changing things around, changing behaviors, starting over, or pulling your training wheels out of the garage for a little while, but that’s O.K Although you’ve taken a tumble, you can still get up in spirit – which is what is actually helping you steer, ride and drive, your bike 😉