Life can get hard. You cannot avoid it. How you choose to live your life defines the timing of the hardships you will encounter and how soft you will be when the going gets tough. You can choose to sit back and just let life happen to you. It may be easy today, but tomorrow your hardships will find you. What you didn’t take care of today, will take care of YOU tomorrow. Your body will break down prematurely, your social network will stay small, your mind will forget you and your life will increasingly put demands on you that you will not be capable of meeting. But you have the power to stop that. You have the power to change. Stop avoiding the hard in life before you become too soft.
There was a time when I was “happy” just existing. Never giving my body any thought. I never tested my mind. I never related to my relationships. I was all too happy consuming instead of creating. I had no concept of tomorrow. I never exercised, I ate what I wanted when I wanted, I smoked and coughed and I became happy being miserable. I took everything for granted. Then along came the day when I exposed my darkest secret of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of my father and I lost everything.
I lost my parents, I lost my trust, I lost my safety net, I lost some friends, I lost my confidence, I lost my past and I lost my mind. Life showed me just how hard it is because I never worked at it. I was unprepared, I was soft. But something sparked inside of me. I held my son that day and cried. If I couldn’t live for myself, I would have to live for him. It was my start, my first step from rock bottom. In my darkest hour, I could have buckled and crawled back to the safety of my parents. I could have given up and hung myself from a tree. I could have crawled into a panic state and remained. I could have become mean. But somewhere in my state of losing it all and gaining my life back, I found myself in the eyes of my young son. I had pushed myself a little bit that day. I saw a teeny tiny sliver of just how powerful I could be if I pushed myself to make life easier.
Finding myself has been the most petrifying experiences of my life. Every day I push myself just a little bit further. Some days I push harder and further than others, but every day I still move forward -if ever so slightly. Whether it be working out, whether it be choosing a healthier snack over junk, whether it be trying a little to be a better father or husband, or it could be learning something new from a small challenge. It could simply be as small as getting out of bed when I don’t feel like it. I face mental and physical pain almost every day, but it’s good pain. The pain of stretched limits and making real progress. The more pain I feel, the more pressure treated I feel. When life throws me a bad day, I fucking throw it back. I have pushed myself far enough that I know now that under no circumstance will life push me back. I will never be comfortable and painless again.
You have it in you to push. Don’t wait until you are strong enough because you will never be as strong and young as you are right now. If you are unhappy with your job, move on. If you are unhappy with your relationships, get new ones. If you are unhappy with your lot in life, create a new lot. If you are unhappy with your surroundings, move. If you are unhappy with your children, teach them. If you are unhappy with your spouse, tell them. If you are unhappy with your body, treat it better. You will never become strong in life until you push and pull. Don’t wait until you are so weak that the moment life pushes you, you fall so hard that you break. Stop being soft. You are a fighter.