Friday, May 11, 2012

Do Hard Things

When I went into labor with Jude, I felt ready for the pain.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I really thought I was tough enough for it.  About 8+ hours of active, med-free labor later, I knew without a doubt that I had not, AT ALL, been ready.  The problem was - and still is - my relationship with pain or more specifically, things that are hard.  Instead of embracing it, being patient with it, trusting it in any way, I resist it, tense up and convince myself I'm really trying to work through it.  If I had ran towards the pain, towards the hard stuff, I believe that it would've given the contractions a better opportunity to do their job.  Instead, I had a perfectly place low baby that didn't budge for a good while.

For me, doing hard things is becoming a necessity.  Life is hard and to be the person I want - to live a life I can believe in - I have to grow, learn, do hard things!

I've not read this book, but I've heard a couple of interviews with the authors.  Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris is a book for teens about rebellion against low expectations.  Here's a small excerpt:

"Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last.
Well, we do."

Now, I'm not a teenager, but the concept is awesome.  And if you have teenagers or will soon, read this! Better yet, get your kids to read it!  What if we changed the direction of our life by purposefully putting forth more effort, by choosing the harder option, by raising the expectations of what we do?  How might that change you?  Experiencing a completely natural child-birth was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.  And that has changed me for the better.  It has helped me grow and just be ways I'd never thought possible.  Of course, everyone has a different hardest thing, but was it life changing? Do you do hard things?  Or are you like me most of the time, avoiding anything remotely hard?

I'm still working on this and processing this idea in my own life, but I seriously feel like it's worth considering.  Struggle, like the baby bird hatching from an egg, brings strength.  Why do we try to eliminate it then? 

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