The struggle of life can make us or break us. The choice is ours.
We all have something that we deal with on a daily basis that makes us human and imperfect. We all lead lives that have struggle. It wouldn’t be this life without it. There are many who struggle privately and to the outside world their life may seem perfect. There are just as many who struggle publicly and we notice. I have yet to figure out if one or the other is better, worse, or just is what it is.
My greatest struggle (there is more than one, but this is the one that I have been fighting the longest) is public. I hate that it is. Let me rephrase, I DESPISE the public nature of my greatest struggle. If you know me you see it. It is with my weight. People see when I am doing well and trending downward on the scale, but they also bear witness when my body is doing everything it can to resist the change. They also get to see when I break and collapse under the relentless fight that it is. I wish I could hide this, but I can’t. When I fall, I feel the judgement and shame that arises from within as I struggle to forgive myself and move on. In a world of processed and sugar saturated food, there are times when I give in to temptation, which leads to self condemnation, thus losing hope and faith, the result – broken to my core. My negative narrative pummels me to the point where I feel defeated. I suffer a broken spirit.
A realization has come to me through this process of AWAKENING. It is the steps of self-damnation that lead to the breaking of my spirit, are not the actions or results of my failures themselves. Let me say this again. It is NOT the act of making mistakes, but it IS the destructive self-talk and self-shaming that pushes me down the proverbial slip-n-slide to a broken spirit. I’m using the slip-n-slide in an extremely purposeful way. I don’t see this process as a slow one, as a path, but one where you quickly move from a mistake, to negative internal conversations, to a broken spirit. I began to realize that if this is playing out in me, then it is playing out in others as well.
What I have come to understand (but not yet fully implement) is that we can interrupt this process and allow the struggle to build us instead of allowing it to break us. Here are the 3 truths to prevent a broken spirit. The truths are common sense, but take time and persistence to embed them into a powerful mindset.
- When we make mistakes, we simply have made a mistake. Don’t let the virtual, marketed, or phantom unrealities of the world convince you that it is anything more than that – ONE mistake or maybe ONE series of mistakes.
- Be vigilant with your internal dialogue. Pause your internal dialogue and think of how you would approach someone else who has made this mistake. Think of the kindness and encouragement that you would extend to them, then share that with yourself.
- Know that every mistake, trial, aspect of screwing up is a workout bent on strengthening your empathy, your character, and your focus on your purpose. When life throws tethers at you RISING, burn brighter and hotter to melt them off of you. What do I mean by this? When I struggle, privately or publicly, I know that God means it for good, but evil means it for destruction. I have recently likened this process to lifting weights. Lifting can produce a great deal of stress and strain on us, but if we maintain focus and proper technique – it will build us. If we lose focus or utilize improper technique – it will break us down. Let God strengthen you through struggle. Stay focused, speak kindly and positively to yourself, and know that your mistakes don’t define you, but your passions and purpose override all the imperfections.
The key and the power that we have in RISING through our imperfection is in our view and approach t0 our struggle. Whether public or private, we are all battling something. Let us RISE above the struggle and allow it to strengthen us in all that we do. Let’s allow it to bind us together knowing that we don’t have to be perfect to make a difference, but we can make a difference despite our imperfections. That is the magic of being human and living in our element.
AWAKEN AND RISE!