I woke-up today not in a good space. My arthritis is flaring in my hands (typing this is not fun) and my knees, and emotionally I wasn’t in a good place. The same old questions popped in my mind:
“Why even keep going on?”
“What’s the point?”
“Why keep trying?”
I’m not talking about suicide. I’m a single father of 2 teenagers so that’s not an option. Without children it may be an option. Probably not. But I honestly don’t know for sure. I do have 2 beautiful children though. That’s the reality. So, enough about what I don’t mean.
What I DO mean is:
Why keep trying to improve my life?
Is any of this really even working?
Why keep taking the time to breathe and meditate and take increasingly cold showers? Why keep listening to podcasts for self improvement? Why keep reading books?
Maybe a better answer is to just go to work, come home, make dinner, and then watch Netflix and Hulu for the rest of the night and then go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow.
(Full disclosure: I feel like I already do watch a decent amount of shows and movies – we don’t have cable but between Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix there’s always something to watch. But I also take the time every morning, and often in the evening too, to read and journal and breathe and meditate. And 4-5 times a week I find the time to workout for about 25 or 30 minutes.)
But what is the point?
If I’m still going to wake-up some morning feeling like shit then why am I doing all of this?
Of course there is a point. And I see it now.
But when I first pushed myself out of bed, the point wasn’t so obvious. I wasn’t in a good place. I was in darkness. And when I’m in the middle of darkness, all I can see is the black. There is no light to be found.
But I moved into my day. I practiced my breathing exercise and then meditated for several minutes. Then I took a slightly cold shower and spent the last 20 seconds or so standing under freezing cold water (within a few days I plan to take completely ice cold showers).
And now here I am. Up against the clock to get my kids up for school and to go to work. But I’m feeling better. Much better.
The “old me” would have probably had a horrible day. But not anymore. No matter how I feel, I do what I need to do. Whether I want to or not. Because that’s the other thing I’ve found: Darkness doesn’t like the light. So when I’m in darkness, there’s a voice inside of me that whispers to stay still in the darkness. It tells me the darkness is all there is anyway. But I now know not to listen to that voice. It might fool me for a couple minutes sometimes. But overall, I’m onto it.
So, the key is to move into my day. To move through the pain. That’s the key with my arthritis, right? It’s so painful in the morning. If I stay still then the pain will stay. But if I force myself to get moving and feel the pain and move through it then it slowly gets better and sometimes it goes away all together.
That’s true of my inner “pain” too. If I move through it then it gets better. Better daily and better overall. I just have to be patient and have faith it’s true. And my faith is always rewarded with results.
So, it’s time to get on with my day. What will this day teach me? What will I figure out about my life and about myself? What gifts will I get today?
Time to find out…