Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Every one of us has a story and while some have had their strength tested more than others, we all have felt heartache. What varies greatly is our reaction to heartache. Some hide, some pretend, some come out swinging, and others multiply their pain by using people and things to numb themselves.
I have been a runner. Over the years, I tried various avoidance tactics. I buried myself in church activities, hid behind my smile, used writing as an emotional moat, and ran to adventure instead of the mirror. These tactics distracted me for a while, but eventually it all failed brilliantly and folded in on me. Exhausted by all of the running with little progress, it was time for me to get real with myself.

I was certain of several things. I knew that regardless of the adjectives used to describe my experiences they happened and nothing would ever change that. I knew it would take all the strength I had to live with some of my memories. I knew that I could not afford to be easy or lax in pursuing peace because depression was relentless in its pursuit of me. I knew that I had to make a decision—I could choose not to fight and have a sad story that people could empathize with or I could have a great story that people would be encouraged by. No matter how low, alone, or desperate I felt, I knew that great was more powerful than sad and encouragement beat empathy every single time.

Knowing all of that, I refused to simply give in. The reality was I had to be more relentless in my fight than my fight was being with me. Yes, what I experienced was unfair, ridiculous, preventable, and a string of countless words that get a rise out of me. Yet, none of that mattered. How I would proceed was what mattered. What I would do moving forward was more important. Who would be a part of my support system mattered more than who hadn’t been. I needed to focus solely on making progress.

The source of your heart's largest hurt may have been unfair, ridiculous, or preventable. It may have come at the hand's of someone else's choice or your own. It may have happened last year or thirty years ago. No matter the circumstances, you cannot get stuck in the details. After acknowledging your pain you have to decide what role that pain will play in your life. You have to work through the hard, terrifying, and isolating parts. You have to be more relentless in your fight than your fight is being with you. Your happiness and peace of mind is worth the work because you are worth the work. Be relentless in your pursuit of a healthier you.

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