FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Hard things…

by Dave Markwell

Life is full of hard things. Work, kids, money, fear, hope, relationships and change all serve to challenge us in ways that stretch us, sometimes uncomfortably so. The confounding element of hard things is that they are often also the RIGHT things. Doing the right thing can be hard. For this reason, it may be even more important to do them.

The other day my eleven year old daughter dropped a jar of raspberry jam on her foot. The jar exploded when it hit the ground and her foot at the same time resulting in a nasty gash. My girl barely winced. She comforted my very “wincy” wife as the depth of this gruesome little injury became known. She didn’t flinch in the emergency room during the anesthetic shots or the stitches. She’s a tough girl in ways that gratefully don’t often reveal themselves. She handled a hard thing with a stoic acceptance of events and provided comfort to her mother and me. It was a proud moment for me which alleviates many concerns about her capacity to handle the hard things this life will invariably deliver to her. She’s gonna be fine.

Life is like this. Hard things happen and we choose a path. We rise or shrink with them. We allow them to diminish us and hide from the truth or we accept them and forge a new path with a new truth. We recognize the truth as the right thing but it takes some serious balls to face the truth as a hard thing and act anyway.

These moments define us. They shape us and change us. It is during these times that we grow. Hard things force us to be more and when we ARE more, we BECOME more…forever. This is a valid result for our efforts in navigating life’s hard things. Extending ourselves, logically, extends us. We are bigger. And while hard things don’t always feel good, surviving them does. This is why in the face of the hardest things this life presents us, a speck of hope always lives in the truth that things will get better, if we just keep moving.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going…”

–Winston Churchill

Good advice and good reminder that hard things end. The rain stops and the streets dry. The grass grows and sun warms the new skin of our new life as a survivor of hard things…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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