How To Persist In The Face Of Adversity
Life is unfair. Sometimes you're on top and other times it just knocks the crap out of you. That's when it really hurts, not like scraping your knee where you know in a week everything will be good as new. The uncertainty of perpetual change can be agonizing. Why can't things just stay the way they are? Frozen in perfection.
Ever wonder that? I do. And as open as I am to trying new things, I know I'm guilty of my comforting habits. They keep things simple when I need to solve bigger problems. It's like that trusty tool you know you can rely on. To me, "the same" means consistent, dependable, safe. And they always say, "life happens at the extremes." If you're not doing "this" you've never lived etc. What if I don't want to try? What if it doesn't work? That's the million dollar question. What do you do if things don't go the way we want them? How do you persist?
When we suffer great loss our brains instinctively go into denial to ease the shock. We refuse to accept reality because the truth is too painful. And the crazy part is that life keeps moving forward. Sometimes I want to yell to the universe, "STOP" for just a moment, and let me catch my breath. Let me regather my thoughts and move forward with grace and purpose. But for some reason, time refuses to wait. The planets keep orbiting, comets keep cometing, the sun rises in the morning, crickets chirp, and life goes.
Knowing life keeps moving helps me when I'm down. Whenever I think about how bad of a situation I'm in, I know that in thousands of years it probably won't matter. We invent the drama in our lives, it doesn't exist on its own. It's kind of what makes life so awesome, why in Greek mythology some suggest the Gods envy US, because we're mortal, and any moment could be our last, therefore we appreciate our time. Not sure how true these myths are, but it sure helps to put things in perspective, even to "Gods" the grass is always greener.
The biggest enemy to adversity is purpose.
It pains me when I hear people say they "feel lost", because I've been there and it's not fun. Feeling like you've lost your way is scary. It's when people say "I've hit rock bottom" and you can see them looking desperately for direction. Life is a journey we make alone. Family, friends, lovers, may be our guides and companions, but where we ultimately go, no one can follow. To define your own path, to be in control, that's purpose. That's what picks you up after being knocked to the ground, the bumps and hurdles don't matter because your gaze is set much further down the road.
Biggest regrets in my life thus far? I feel like I haven't contributed enough. I feel like I've played it too safe, keeping this little ball of "Brian" to myself. Don't you want to share? Sure, but it's hard. What if something happens, what if you let someone use Brian and they never give it back, or worse, hurt it! I don't want to get hurt or to be lost. But I know to "do more" for me and others, I have to let Brian go.
There's no off switch to the universe, least none that I've found. Even when we're not here, history suggest it will keep doing its thing. As for persisting in the face of adversity? Your life won't be defined by the things you almost did. If purpose calls you, follow that voice to the end. If no is voice calling, have the courage to find one that's your own.