How Do You Rest When Life Gets Hard?

Someone told me once, “Don’t give up before the miracle happens.”

Always before reaching the mountain peak of that treasured dream, there is this place.  The place where we struggle.  I don’t know many people who appreciate this place, but it serves a purpose.  The struggle makes us stronger.  It teaches valuable lessons.  We learn from our mistakes and build our stamina.  And, simply put, it’s hard work.

We’ve all heard the quote; Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall. But it can be hard to remember that line when you’re discouraged and exhausted. 

To keep getting up each time I fall I need a moment of rest to get my feet back under me.  These moments take many forms, and probably look different than yours, but here are some examples.

This morning I took my old dog for a walk.  It rained last night and the cool morning air was moist and fragrant.  I came home with a fresh perspective on the tasks ahead of me.

Yesterday, I took time out in the middle of the day to connect with a friend.  She’s in the “struggle” phase of a project she’s working on.  We both said, in our own different ways, “Damn! This is hard!”  That simple admission cleared out the noise of fear and we had a good hard laugh at ourselves.  There’s nothing like laughter to send the boogie man running!

Above my desk I have two lists.  One names many of the things that bring me joy:  the sound of a baby laughing; the smell of the ocean; the color of sandstone against a cloudless southwestern sky; the silly antics of my two young cats; the faces of the people I love.  The other list is all the things I accomplished last year as I launched a new phase of my life.  It’s a long list and includes all the areas of my life that I truly value: family and friends, career, spirituality, personal growth.  A few minutes with these lists and my entire being is filled with renewed energy and spark.

I make space in each day (well, most days!) to be still and listen.  Sometimes the messages that surface are painful.  I look at them to see if they’re real or if they’re just a mirage.  Usually it’s the latter and I take the time to replace them with the truth.  Sometimes what I hear is inspiration, guidance, hope.  I slip those little gems into my pocket and pull them out from time to time throughout the day.  Either way, I come away from those moments with more compassion for myself than when I sat down.

These are the ways that a few minutes of rest are giving me the energy to take the next small step on my climb to the mountain top. This is what gives me the courage to keep reaching for the miracle even when I feel like giving up.

Tell me about your moments of rest and then let’s take the next step together.


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