It’s fair to say the last two (going on three) years have been a trying time for me. My health took a deep dive and at times, I’ve questioned if my spirit can keep going. In the hard times of my life, I’ve always strived to focus on the positive and look for the good – and tried to figure out what I can learn from the experience to help myself and to pass onto others, in hopes that it might help someone else. So today, while still in the midst of my own challenges, I pass along to you a few things I’ve learned in these years that have helped me pick myself up when the rain keeps coming down.
- Move your body. Feel the sun. I’ve been on some form of crutches and/or a walking boot since 2018. While I can’t run and do all the fitness I desire at this time, I’ve learned to appreciate a simple walk in the neighborhood. Granted people are often surprised to see me walking my dog on crutches or in a walking boot (“Wow, you are dedicated”), they don’t know the real me inside. (#bethmode) There is something to be said for listening to the birds chirp, feeling the warmth of the sun, the breeze against your skin, and just being able to move for a little bit even if it’s not in the intensity you desire.
- Tune into positive uplifting music. Hands down I credit Pandora’s Today’s Christian Hits for carrying me through some of my darkest times. When I’m really in pain or having a hard day, I put my pods in and fill my spirit with uplifting music and tune into some of my favorite songs. Music lifts the soul.
- Feel the power of the paw. I’m so grateful to have my pal Duke by my side. In truth I rescued him, but in reality he rescued me just as much. The times I’ve really felt down, Duke has come to my side and put his head on me and reminds me to keep fighting.
- Nurture your nutrition. What you put in your body is fuel. Feed it well. I regularly juice fruits and vegetables, as well as combine the pulp to make smoothies, breads, and crackers. It’s added energy to my body. With medications, surgeries, etc, it can take a toll. Nurture your body, what you put in is in your control.
- Remind yourself that YOU CAN. Sometimes it feels like the weight of my challenges feels too heavy to bear. But always remember you can keep going. You may not feel like you want to, but always know that you can.
- Hold onto the fact that every sunset has a sunrise. Nothing last forever. If you feel like giving up, I encourage you to hold on and remember that with every night, comes morning. Every winter comes spring. And with every door closed, one opens. That is the truth. And I’ve found that every time I’ve felt down, I remind myself that nothing lasts forever.
- Connect and Laugh. I’ve been a little secluded for the last couple years with all the surgeries and health challenges I’ve been through, and in all honestly, when we’re in pain we retreat. And that’s okay. Sometimes we need to be alone and recharge. But don’t forget to find ways to connect with others and laugh.
- Remember His promise. Life is not easy for any of us, but God promises us He will not give us more than we can handle or beyond what we can bear. He is with us, even when we cannot feel it. He is there, always by our side.
- Look for the inspiration all around you. In a simple petal flower, in the morning sunrise, in your dog’s eyes, in the way the sun shines through the trees, nature is beautiful if you have the eyes to see it.
- Keep your eyes looking forward. When we’re in pain or feeling down, we can be tempted to look back on all the good times and wish things were still the same. Change your mindset to look forward and be present in what is today. Keep the hope alive. Know that as long as you keep the faith and don’t give up, you will continue making progress towards your goals (even if it feels slow).
As we each go forward in our own unique journeys, may we be reminded to stay in the fight, no matter how hard the battle. I see your strength. Don’t ever give up, buds. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds us. You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it. Stay brave. Warrior on. And know I’m here doing that too, right beside ya. #nevergiveup