Running is work, and training to run for any race requires dedication and effort. Learning any new task requires the same, dedication and effort. To step out of our comfort zone requires courage. There are times in everyone’s life when we lack that courage, and for some even more, they find themselves barely able to exist due to grief or illness. It is at those times when we reach into our greatest depths to find the dedication and effort to go forward. There is a great quote from Mark Nepo that says, “as long as we see what has come to pass as being unfair, we’ll be a prisoner of what might have been.” These are powerful words, and they struck a cord with me immediately.
Sitting at the bottom, filled with grief over the loss of my late husband, as well as anger over how he left my son and me in terms of finances, I often found myself saying the words “it’s unfair”. This was unfair, that was unfair, and all of my life felt unfair! I felt sorry for myself, and for my child. Additionally, I could see others shaking their heads, whispering behind their backs about poor us, even hiding from me, not wishing to engage because after all what could one say to a young widow, whose husband left her in such a tough spot! Long before I read Mark Nepo’s words, I knew in my heart I could not go around saying it was unfair. Others had traveled rough roads in life, and they were doing just fine. Maybe it was fair; perhaps it was designed to wake me up from the deep slumber of giving away my voice.
Just like my running, I began a practice to heal myself. I read, sought counseling, tried to pull my head up and shine my light forward, if not for me as was the case many days, then for my son. His beautiful grace gave me the impetus to run that hill, then that mile, then the race. I ran the race of my life, and I will not say it was easy, but the rewards have been nothing short of miraculous. If we stay stuck in the practice of saying it’s unfair, we will be stuck in what hurts. Things that befall us are not necessarily our responsibility, however, how we choose to handle these issues is our responsibility. Instead of saying things are unfair, we could choose to see them as a catalyst for change, and change is about growing and achieving our full potential. Try and run that hill today, one step at a time and leave ‘unfair’ at the bottom, holding onto all that is joyful and shine your heart. You will be surprised at how much easier it is to run that hill tomorrow.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity ~ Albert Einstein